I do not know how many of you know this but I’m a bit of an oddball. I love cross country. It is by far my favorite season. I always lacked the foot speed for the track, so the hills and and longer distances were just what I needed. I love watching cross country too. I know NCAA nationals are coming up and predictions will come, but I just want to list a few reasons why I love XC.
You Can’t Beat the Scenery
What track has trees, winding trails or even grass? Ok well there is one with grass, but even there you’re still confined to the oval and left turns. Cross country is an adventure through the wilderness of wherever you are. It really is man vs wild. We all go back to our primal roots. A scenic course makes the lengthy amount of time you’re out there exerting yourself fly by.
It’s All About Competition
Track is all about chasing standards and comparing times. If you want to jusdge how good someone is on the track just ask them for their PR. However, no two cross country courses are alike. This means there is only one way to settle disputes, raceday. Cross country is all about place. Your time week to week is irrelevant its all about who pulled out the win. This leads to brutal battles athletes making each other hurt from beginning to end.
The Team Aspect
When you step on the track you are alone. You are a single entity trying to do what you can to win. On a cross country course it is you and 6 others all running the same race for the lowest team score to take home a won for the team. On a track team I never felt much of a connection to the jumpers, throwers and sprinters. I competed and trained separately from them, but my cross country teammates became my brothers. Everyday we would focus on the same race and the same opponents and the same goals, the bond I feel with my teammates is irreplaceable.