Today us pit the 2 giants that high school and college running versus each other for a fight of the sports that involve only running, correct only running. What can be so different about two various forms the running, girlfriend ask? The answer: an ext than friend realize. Today’s contenders will certainly be none various other than cross-country and track (sorry, ar events). They will certainly be compared in terms of difficulty, variety, and also opportunities for team bonding. Before we begin, it might be useful to have actually a brief background top top the 2 sports.

You are watching: What is the difference between track and cross country


A typical cross-country invitational. Photo courtesy

Cross-country is a autumn sport, ensuing on paths and also trails typically on the school’s campus. In high school, a 5k (3.1 miles) is normally contested, while in college, the women run a 6k (3.7 miles) and also the males run an 8k (4.9 miles). The is affectionately known to its runners as XC.


A distance race in track. Picture courtesy

Track is a spring sport run on the oval (or track) that generally surrounds a school’s football field. The distances vary from the 100m dash to the 3200m operation in high school, however in college, you can run approximately 10,000m. Relays, where members happen off a baton to each other as castle each complete a certain distance, are additionally included.

Now, off to the races!



With hills and also uneven terrain, cross-country races vary in difficulty for each course the you run. On a flat, even course, times will be fast, however on a hilly, uneven course, you deserve to expect to operation much, much slower. Thus variability, cross-country runners have to be all set for anything and everything.


The hills are frequently the most an overwhelming part the a cross-country race. Image courtesy


Track has the consistency the cross-country lacks. However, numerous of the gyeongju are simply as challenging as XC, however for different reasons. In the 800m (about 1/2 mile), your 2 laps will certainly feel nothing brief of sprinting. Ns guarantee you that your legs will never burn as intensely as they will certainly in those last 100 meter of the race!

Result: Because the the unpredictability that cross-country courses, and the longer distances, I’m walk to have to hand this one to XC.



You arrive, the gun go off, and also everyone operation the exact same race. That’s it. Various other than differences in between high school and college, there’s no selection in XC.


A sampling of typical events in ~ a high college meet. Image courtesy×837.png


Picture a diverse team made up of sprinters, mid-distance runners, and the long-distance crew. Want to run for less than a minute? There’s a gyeongju for that. Don’t want to sprint, however focus on speed instead? There’s a gyeongju for that, too. Track pipeline nothing to be preferred in variety.

Result: This one’s a little obvious, but track’s sheer variety of different races makes it the clear winner in this category.

Opportunities for Team Bonding


Everyone walk the exact same workouts, and also pasta parties are usually involved before large meets. This offers the perfect avenues for team bonding as everyone is almost always together.


It’s a little more challenging to bond through everyone here, together the team is frequently separated into several various disciplines based upon what street you’ll be racing. The sprinters stick together while the long-distance runners kind another group. Each team takes ~ above an identity for themselves, and also often, the entire team go not acquire to recognize each various other well.

Result: Because the the consistent togetherness that cross-country and also the dividedness that track, cross-country pulls out ahead in this category.

See more: How Many Inches In 140 Cm Is How Many Inches, How To Convert 140 Cm To Inches


Team bonding is an important part of any kind of sport. Photo courtesy

So, walk this do cross-country a better sport? not really. Track has actually the merits the consistency and variety, if cross-country pulls ahead in challenge and team bonding. Both are exceptionally important aspects of a effective running program, so while us all have actually our favourite season, ns encourage girlfriend to shot out them both!

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