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Cross Country Running

Information on Cross Country Running

SEP 12 2008

What is Cross Country running? It is a considered a sport composed of team of runners competing with each other with the goal of completing a certain course over a rough terrain or open field. The first one to get into the finish line wins.

Cross country is a sport that originated from the Crick Run since 1837. It is an annual activity popular that is very popular in England.

This sport was introduced to Americans in 1878 by William C. Vosburgh. It was done yearly as a summer track training for athletes. But it became a formal sport in the United States after nine years. Now, organizes by IAAF the World Cross Country Championship.

Course distances are standardized, but each running course is different in terms of its paths and routes. The start of the racing is signaled by a gun and a horn. Each runner is responsible for stating in a specified distance of the marked path. This activity uses tape, paint, cones or flags to mark each of the courses. It is important that runners don’t hit the marks to avoid confusions.

Scoring is based on team standings. Each team is awarded based on the number of points of their top runner. Points are awarded to individual runners of each team. Please take note that the lowest number is actually will be ranked as the best or number one.

Like any sports, cross country running also allows coaching. Each team has its own coach. Coaches are allowed to move throughout the course to shout out different strategies to the players. This is also a chance to motivate players while running.
Appropriate clothes would be of course shorts, shirts, a pair of light running shoes with a rubber sole with a metal spikes to maintain grip, and avoid accidents by slipping. If the season is cold, you are allowed to wear vests, long pants, and shirts with sleeves, hats and gloves.

Winners of this race organized by IAAF World Cross Country Championships are the following:

> Carlos Lopes – he won three times
> John Ngugi – first man to win five times
> Paul Tergat – won 5 consecutive races
> Kenenisa BEkele – he is the only man to win short and long courses, for 5 consecutive races.
Women’s division;
> Grete Waitz- first ever woman to win five times
> Lynn Jennings – she won three times
> Derartu Tulu – won three times as well
> Gete Wami – won twice for long course and won once at the short course; won three times
> Tirunesh Dibaba – same case with Gete Wami, she won two times in long course and only once for short course.
> Edit Masai – she won three times for short courses.

All countries are invited to join; just recently, the race has been dominated by eastern Africans – Kenya and Ethiopia. Countries active in this activity are Canada, United States and United Kingdom.

Almost all ages are encouraged to join. Children 6 years old and under can join the 1km course; children seven and eight years old can join the 2 km course; ages nine to twelve can join the 3km course; ages thirteen and fourteen can join the 4km course and ages fifteen to eighteen for 5km course.

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