What is cross country? How long is a race?
Cross country is a running sport. Meets are held on grass wooded trails, and a typical race is 5 kilometers (3.1 miles). To train for this distance, we practice Monday through Friday, from August to October, and during a practice, we will run between 2 and 9 miles. We work hard, but we also have a lot of fun!
Who can participate in cross country?
Any students in grades 7-12.
How long is the cross country season?
Our season starts the second Monday in August, and our section meet (the state qualifying meet) is the last Thursday in October. State qualifiers compete at the state meet the first Saturday in November.
What do I need for cross country?
Unlike a lot of other sports, cross country does not require extensive equipment. You need: running shoes (shoes that are meant specifically for running, not for other sports), running clothes, and a water bottle. We strongly recommend purchasing a watch (that has a timer; it does not have to be a GPS watch), because we do workouts that have timed components, and wearing a watch can be a great way to keep pace during races. We also recommend cross country spikes for races.
I’ve never done cross country before, what can I do to be ready for cross country?
The best way to prepare for cross country is to start running regularly (3-5 days a week), building up to running for at least 30 minutes without stopping, and being active throughout the week (biking, walking, swimming, rollerblading, playing other sports).
How long are cross country meets?
Meets typically start at 4 p.m. and can go up until 6:30 or 7 p.m., depending on how much wait time there is between races. There are typically 4 races run at each meet: boys varsity, girls varsity, girls junior varsity, and boys junior varsity. The order of these races is up to the discretion of the meet organizers.
What kind of shoes should I have for practice and for meets?
You should have running shoes for practice. Basketball or street shoes will most likely lead to shin splints when used over long periods of time. If you go to Right Fit Running in Mounds View or Run-n-Fun on Randolph in St. Paul you can get discounted running shoes if you ;et them know you are running for a high school team; or go to Eastbay.com. For meets, you should have track spikes. You also can find these at the shoe stores mentioned above or online at Eastbay.com.
What should I bring with me to practice and meets?
Clothes for any kind of weather. This is fall in MN, be ready for anything. Have a water bottle with you every day, no matter the temperature. Hydration is key. Bring your inhaler if you have one. Bring some healthy snacks that can be consumed before or after depending on your preferences.
What do I do if I have other activities during the fall?
Communicate. We understand that athletes have other obligations during the fall and may even be in a club sport. We will work with you to ensure you are successful in all of your endeavors. However, the expectation is that your high school in season sport is priority. Cross country training lends itself to other sports, but other sports' training may detract from cross country. Communicate with us so we can do our best to prevent overuse.
How do I make varsity?
One way to make varsity is to try your best at practice each day. Dedicate yourself to doing what your coaches ask, and by getting outside your comfort zone a little bit every day. The varsity selection process comes down to times run in meets, and can change from meet to meet. Attendance and dedication to program is also considered.