To succeed in cross country, a couple things are neccessary. For one, you have to have a strong heart and put in lots of practice. If running 5+ miles a day doesn't sound like a good workout, you'd better try a less-taxing sport. Secondly, a good pair a racing and training shoes are a must. For racing, lightweight flats or spikes work well; the course determines which is the better choice. For best results, a pair of shoes with removable spikes works well. Training shoes should be sturdy and durable; training shoes should not be your everyday sneakers. Buy another pair specifically for running. Just remember - don't wear training shoes during a race; although flats only cut off a few seconds each mile, over a, say 10 mile race, this can make a big difference. And before a race starts, always make sure your shoes are double-knotted. You don't want to run with untied shoes or have to tie them during a race. Also, always make sure your uniform/shirt is tucked in. This also shaves seconds off your time. Unless the temperature is below freezing, wear shorts when racing, again to get better times. If it is too cold, wear pants to prevent your legs from becoming too cold, thus preventing them from working at their best.
Cross country is cool in that it can be both an individual and team sport. Individuals compete against other runners and their own PRs (personal records) over the distance. The individual runners' scores are added up for a team score; the lower the score, the better.
A lot of people criticize distance runners, especially sprinters. They make fun of us for wearing short shorts, they say our sport is primitive and requires no talent, ect. While it is true we don't have the same turnouts as football, baseball, or basketball games have, our small fan base is friendly. We don't have hecklers and brawls because our team lost. Our fans are civilized and respect the winning team and all athletes, regardless of their talent. I know this one runner whose extremely slow (10+ minute miles), and instead of taunting him, the fans wait for him to finish and treat him with respect. They cheer him on the same as they did for the fastest guy. Rather than just winning and money, isn't this what sports should really be about?
"Yeah but look how good the girls look all sweaty like that after their race"
"Damn right playa"
Champions challenge their limits - cross country runners always challenge their limits.