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Cross Country: It’s Not Just a 5K

Often, when people think of running, they think of marathons, road races, and running on a track.  However, there are hundreds of Utah High School cross country teams, and just about every college in Utah has a team competing in collegiate cross country.

If you are really bored, you can read the IAAF competition rules for cross country… or you could just check out our summary below:


Cross country is both an individual and team sport.  Athletes all start at the same time and run the same distance.  They are eligible for both individual and team recognition.  In Utah, high school events are scored by adding the finishing place of the top 5 runners on each team, with seven people on a team.  In major international events, there are usually six on a team with 4 scoring.  Here’s an example (with four athletes scoring and individuals not affiliated with a team):


Typically races are 4K-12K in length – most high school races are 5K.  In college race distances are 5K-10K depending on the gender and the race venue.


Races usually take place on open-air courses over natural terrain (grass, dirt, etc).  The Utah High School Cross Country Championships are held at Sugarhouse Park every year.  Often, collegiate meets are held on golf courses or courses that are specifically designed for cross country.  Course will include both hills and flat ground.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 13th, 2011 at 9:00 pm and is filed under Expert Answers. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

One response to “Cross Country: It’s Not Just a 5K”

  1. Merle Nehls says:

    I feel like I’m often looking for interesting things to read about a variety of niches, but I manage to include your site among my reads every day because you have compelling entries that I look forward to. Here’s hoping there’s a lot more top-notch material coming!

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