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The most difficult sport of all. There are no timeouts, substitutions, halftimes, or other breaks. Because of this, the sport requires extreme amounts of stamina and talent to play, and to be successful, it requires even more effort. Cross country consists of long races (minimum 5k or 3.1 miles) over varied terrains, including hills, roads, mud puddles, grassy fields, rocky paths, and sometimes even shallow streams. To complete the race, the runners must not only have the strength to finish, but must also be aware of their surroundings at all times. Stop paying attention to your surroundings, and you could fall, costing you valuable seconds, knocking you out of the race, or even sending you to the hospital. Cross country is not to be confused with indoor/outdoor track. Although they have long-distance events, their longest usually is 5k, cross country's shortest. Also, they have no hills or other obstacles; they just run around a track many times. Road races aren't technically true cross country races, but usually get grouped together with cross country races because of their distance and hills. A true cross country race stays away from pavement as much as possible.
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?
by xc runner December 16, 2004
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XC is the best sport ever!!! Although you run for individual times, cross country is definatley a team sport. Teams are close-knit w/ great coaches and lots of crazy fun traditions, such as hitting signs or boxer day. I know this definition is not really that good, for it doesn't even begin to explain running and how great XC is or why you love it so much- but I've tried to explain cross-country to non-running people countless times before and they just don't get it. If your a dedicated cross country runner, than you understand - but everyone else just doesn't get it - but for those of us that do - well no more needs to be said
Some people limit their challenges.
Champions challenge their limits - cross country runners always challenge their limits.
by xcgrl February 14, 2005
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A sport in which requires dedication and the will to want to run everyday. Those who run are the only ones who can fully understand how great it is. Though training is hellish, the reward more than makes up for it. People often criticize the sport, but this is because they are ignorant, or maybe even jealous. They say that it is only running and laugh at the small shorts. Cross Country is not nearly as popular as football or baseball, but the fans who come and watch are like no others. Very often, people cannot comprehend why we run and see running as a punishment. It is these people who could never realize, and shall never realize why we do what we do. It is not for glory, but for self satisfation. Cross Country requires more physical and mental strength than other sports.
normal kid: "Dang, today we have to run in PE. I knew I shouldn't have came to school."

Cross Country runner: "Hey, let's go run 5 miles."
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Bill Bowerman: "Running, one might say is basically an absurd pastime upon which to be exhausting ourselves. But if you can find meaning in the kind of running you have to do to stay on this team chances are you can find meaning in another absurd pastime . . . Life"
by xcDavid September 05, 2006
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4
Cross country is a sport that is often disliked by individuals who dislike the fact that it requires more dedication and will than any other sport.
John Saunders doesn't like cross country. He perfers to stay at home and polish his pickle.
by xc March 08, 2005
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Cross country is the most under represented, underclothed, and BEST sport. Cross country kick ass.
The guy before me is complaining because cross country kicks his ass.
by k3v1n October 17, 2005
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6
The most grueling, tiring, REWARDING sport EVER. Cross Country is hard but it makes a person really healthy. Requires a lot of running which makes a person's body tight, lean, and graceful looking. XC guys aren't gay! They're hot as hell. And us girls...well...you know! XC is so much fun!!!
XC Runner: A 10 minute cooldown run after a 5k? Hey, I'm down.

XC Runner 2: Let's go past the hot XC guys!

XC Runner: Yeah!!
by ilovepp954 August 24, 2005
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7
Awesome sport in which intelligent people are involved in, that most peeps dont understand unless they are involved in it.
by skip November 11, 2003
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