Basic Guide to Cross Country


1. Length: A standard high school cross country race in Utah is 5k or 3.1 Miles.


2. Team: A cross country team is usually made up of 7 individuals, 5 of which score.


3. Scoring: The top five finishers on each team make up the team score. You score points equal the place that you finish. For example, if Riverton runners finish  1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th, we would have accomplished a perfect score and received 15 points.  Lowest score wins the race. If Herriman on the other runners finished 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th, and 30th, they would score 100 points. The 6th and 7th runners become very important because they can push back the other team's score. Also, in the event of a tie, the winning team is decided by the team whose 6th runner came in first.


4. Terrain: Cross country is run on multiple surfaces, from grass, to dirt, to asphalt.


5. Strategies

a) Packing up: Teams racing together

b) Keeping even pace: Not varying pace to conserve energy.

c) Negative splitting: this is closing your last part of your race faster than the first.


6. Race shoes: Should be lightweight.

a) Flats: A shoe that's lightweight without spikes. Good on all surfaces. Bad on wet grass.

b) Spike: A shoe with a plastic bottom and spikes in it. Great for tracks and grass.

c) XC Spike: A shoe with a rubber bottom that can be used on all surfaces.


7. Race Day Preparation

a) Athletes should warm-up and cool-down on race day.

b) Athletes should start their warm up about 45 minutes before the race.

c) Cool down is about 15 -30 minutes

d) It’s preferred that an athlete eats a high carbohydrate meal  3-4 hours before the race.

e) Athletes  should get around 7-9 hours asleep the night before.


8. Watching the race: Depending on the layout of the course you will be able to see your athlete run a lot or just a few times. The best advice I can give you is to go a little early and figure out the course and where you can cheer your athlete on the most. Following the crowds is also an option.


Region 3 Cross Country Teams


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