Turf Over Land
In the world of high school running, there are two types of runners: cross country runners and track runners. I am both, as I have been in cross country since seventh grade and track since first grade. I know how it feels to train and compete in both, and I have come to a conclusion that track & field is way better than cross country.
In cross country, the season is much longer than track. To non-runners, the season is about 3 months long. However, in the eye of a runner, summer training makes it even longer by at least 2 months! Summer practices are usually Monday through Saturday for about 5 hours. I don’t think people want to wake up at 7:30 in the morning to go on a long run and do weight training after. The track season is much shorter with shorter practices. For distance runners, the pace is much faster than in cross country, but the distance is shorter. For Sprinters and Hurdlers, like me, workouts are much shorter and only Monday through Friday.
As far as the length of meets, track meets are longer than cross country meets, track meets have many more events than cross country meets. In my opinion, placing in track is easier than placing in cross country, because in track meets there are only 9 runners per heat, and usually there are 2 to 4 heats. On the other hand, cross country has from 200 to as much as 700 people racing at the same time! Imagine that, running with 700 people, cluttered and being shoved and pushed while running. Not the best feeling in the world. Sometimes you get “spiked”, other runners tend to kick you or step on you with their spikes. Usually runners use plastic spikes, but there are some runners that use metal spikes, and at times they use it in a way to help them cheat, by “spiking” people close to them. That danger, or injury, is rare in track, due to the fact that we run in lanes and not crowded all together.
The races in cross country and track are extremely different. There is only one kind of race in cross country while in track there are many. In cross country, the racing distance is a 5k, or 3.1 miles. On the contrary, the racing distances in track include: the 3200 meter run (2 miles), 4 by 100 meter relay, 800 meter run, 100 meter hurdles, 110 meter hurdles, 100 meter dash, 4 by 200 meter relay, 400 meter dash, 300 meter hurdles, 200 meter dash, 1600 meter run (1 mile), and the 4 by 400 meter relay. As you can see, the number and variety of races differs a lot. That’s another reason why track is better; you can choose what you want to run. In cross country you have no choice but to run the 3.1 miles. Some people might not have endurance for distance running, but they might have speed. So they’d have a choice in whether they wanted to run a long distance or run a short distance. A choice they wouldn’t have if they were in cross country. Also, in cross country you can only run one race. While in track you can run 3 races, since there are many more events than cross country and not as many...