1) When the course has a bunch of mud
Every cross-country runner has had to take a few slippery turns, getting their brand new spikes all gross and possibly tripping a few racers. But even a non cross-country runner can see the problems mud would create for them.
2) When your coach makes you lift
This sport is about running – why do I need my arms? People who don’t run probably don’t see the point in this either. Like, why would that be in the training plan?
3) When you beat your PR
Yes! Months of training to beat your old time and you’ve finally done it! Always good to see that hard work pays off. To the people who played other sports: PR stands for personal record, so you can see why this would be a good thing.
4) When you buy a new pair of shoes
Ahh that new shoe smell. Come to think of it, plenty of people have bought shoes at one point in time, and I’m sure those shoes smell just as good.
5) When you can finally eat after you race
See, normally before races you might eat a banana with peanut butter or maybe half a Clif Bar. But after the race? Anything goes. Don’t soccer players do that? Or at least swimmers?
6) Running to different sections of the course to root on your teammates
Who knew cheering could be so much work!? For those of you who have never watched a race: you can understand how it would be difficult to watch the entirety of a cross-country race from just one location. Normally the team watches the start of the race and jogs over to say, the first mile marker, and then maybe one or two more spots before heading to the finish line. The course is normally made up of a bunch of twists and turns so it’s easy to just make a beeline for a spot along the side. These races take anywhere between thirty and forty-something minutes, so you have to do a bit of waiting. But the teams are big too, so when you’re there you get to cheer on a bunch of people.
7) When your team cheers for you on the final straightaway
Nothing like hearing a crowd of people, all dressed in your school’s colors, screaming your name as you fly through to the finish. It’s like nothing else.