Yesterday was the 2019 USATF XC Championships, which was the trial qualifying for the 2019 World XC Championships that are taking place in Denmark this year. For the first time since I can remember…the fields were stacked, as if they were actually racing for something. And the races were exciting.
But, it got me thinking about how important XC is for the development of our runners…at the youth level, at the collegiate level, and at the professional level. When I was growing up with running we had the GIANTS…Paul Tergat, Haile Gebrselassie, and on and on. Everyone who was GREAT ran XC…it was just what those great runners did. Even in the generations before me…Bill Rodgers, Frank Shorter, Craig Virgin…
So, why is it important?
- Because the greats did it. WHY DO WE NOT COPY WHAT THE GREATS DID?
- Because the strength that you gain racing hard over grass, mud, hills, etc. is unmatched…you don’t find that kind of strength on the roads or on the track…and I’m talking MENTAL and PHYSICAL strength.
- Because it’s great PREPARATION for the roads and for the track. You can’t tell me that you won’t feel faster on those sure surfaces after racing on the grass?
And, I think there are a million more reasons why it’s important, but I just wish it held a greater significance for us. I love XC…and I am excited to see TEAM USA compete at the World Championships!!!