What is XC? Cross Country!

Geek!This is Nathan Calivoso’s submission for the HP Magic Giveaway. Feel free to leave comments for this article as you see fit – your feedback is certainly welcomed! If you’d like to submit your own how-to, what-is, or top-five list, you can send it to me. Views and opinions of this writer are not necessarily my own:

When I’m not running data-intensive apps, I am outside running — intensively. I run XC, to be exact. But, what is XC? Well, XC stands for cross country. Yes, I run both XP and XC!

I run on one of the best 4A high school teams in the state of Washington. Our team is 100 strong and still growing every year. Only a select few are eligible to run for varsity, so the majority of our team runs junior varsity. However, everyone still runs their hardest and pushes others to do so too – regardless of which part of the team they are on. For instance, our junior varsity boys have not lost a major race in about ten years. Also, our varsity and junior varsity girls dominate their races, as do the varsity boys. But, above all, we are a community of people who love getting together to help each other, chat together, and — of course — run together.

Cross Country is typically stereotyped to be a hard, grueling sport, and sometimes it is not even considered a sport. However, running cross country takes just as much training and effort as any other sport. Here are some reasons that you would want to join or even watch a cross country meet.

  1. Unlike track, cross country doesn’t get boring — when you run cross country, you are faced with things obstacles that you could never find in track and field. You would run up hills, down hills, through forest, on sand, through water, and even through the mud. From the spectators’ view, you will enjoy the intensity of the runners’ will to fight through the hills and through the obstacles. Also, the spectator will enjoy a chuckle here and there as the runners attempt to run dive through mud or water, and every so often they would enjoy a face plant or two.
  2. The atmosphere at a cross country event — the runners are able to enjoy the scenery and outdoors for most of their runs. However, the runners also find the adrenaline of running past crowds, screaming their heads off as your finish. As a spectator, you have an important job. You are the mental support that brings them to the finish.
  3. Ecologically, cross country doesn’t leave a footprint — cross country doesn’t require fields or large venues. From stadiums to over fertilized fields, we leave foot prints on the environment from playing sports. However, when you run cross country, all you need is a pair of running shoes. Runners can run anywhere they want. We do not need any stadiums. If you put string through a forest that will determine our path, we will race on it.
  4. Having the privilege of working together in a community — we all work together to be successful. The coaches and the team are only half of the community. The spectators are a huge help. As I stated before, the crowd is what drives the runners to finish. Another part of the community is actually the Internet. If you go on to athletic.net, you are will find yourself in a huge community. There, you are able to check stats on high school students, check schedules on races, and even check stats on other schools. From here you can keep up of your times for improvement and even keep an eye on your rival.
  5. Anyone can come join us — if you’ve ever run, you can join. Anyone can run with us! The runners who run cross country are very diverse. Some could be tall, some could be short — that’s me. Some could be slow and steady, some could be speedy fast, but it doesn’t matter in the end. Everyone will have the satisfaction of finishing a 3 mile race — not everyone can say they have accomplished that.

If you don’t want to race, consider the health benefits of just running. Runners are looking for support. Try it; you never know where your feet can take you while you’re running. Because of XC, I have considered taking up parkour, but that’s for another time. Consider joining the milers…