Encyclopedia of Sport: Every sport from around the world

Cross-Country Running

Cross-country running is a type of running sport. In this event, individuals or teams run a race which will involve courses over natural terrain. The course involves surfaces of grass and earth, woodlands, hills, flat ground, and gravel road.

Races usually take place during autumn and winter. Cross country are held even with rain, sleet, snow or hail. International competition courses usually involve a loop between 1750 and 2000 meters. All the participants start at the same time, and complete around three to six loops, depending on the race.

Cross country running was an Olympic event in 1912, 1920 and 1924. Cross country running is still an event at the Olympic Games, though it is only contested as the fifth discipline of the modern pentathlon.

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