|Governing Body:||International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF)|
Cross-country running is an athletics event in which athletes run on open-air courses over natural terrains such as grass or dirt as a part of a team as well as individually. The course typically ranges from 4-12 km in length including the surfaces of grass and earth and include hills, flat ground and some gravel road. These races usually take place during winters and autumn and include weather conditions like rain, snow, etc. The first national competition of cross-country run took place in England in 1876 and the first International Cross-country Championships was held in 1903 at Hamilton Park Racecourse in Scotland. The IAAF World Cross Country Championships started taking place since 1973 and now held in every two years.
To complete the race (whole distance) in the fastest time possible.
Male and female athletes compete as individuals as well as in teams in cross-country running events.
The race course for cross-country running includes an open or woodland area having stretches of gravel paths, road and hills, covered with grass as far as possible and with natural obstacles which can be used to build a challenging race course. The course is designed in loops with each loop measuring between 1750m and 2000m (according to the IAAF) and a small loop may be added to adjust the distances according to the event and consists of only two straights, one at the start and another leading to the finish line.
Image Credits: iaaf.org