There can often be a spot of confusion when it comes to trail running, cross country and fell running – sure they are all pretty much the same thing as they involve running off-road, right? Well, wrong, actually. While trail running and fell running are often interchangeable, cross country running really is in a league of its own. Read on to get a brief summary on the three running disciplines and how they differ from one another.
Cross Country Running Explained:
Cross country running is always off-road and is usually based in a forest or open field where there are obstacles to negotiate such as short hills, logs, roots and rocks. A cross country course will usually be reasonably short – 1,750 – 2,000 metres – and competitors will usually complete between three and six laps of the course as fast as possible. Races will often be team events, although some races will be geared towards individuals. In the team event, the times of the top four or five runners from a team of six will be added together, the team with the shortest total time will win the race. The cross country season runs in the autumn and winter months.