Thursday, November 5, 2015

Cross Country Meets

There's something exciting about watching a sporting event live. It's funny because it is so much easier to watch the same thing on TV. Multiple camera angles, commentary, stats, and instant reply all make the game easier to watch and easier to understand. Still, thousands of people go to games they can just as easily watch in their own homes or at a sports bar for the fraction of the price.

I enjoy going to baseball, basketball, and football games, but something that's really fun is watching cross country meets. Watching running events, specifically middle and long distance events, is fun for me because I understand the strategies involved and the type of training athletes undergo to become good at their sport. Again, watching on TV is easier (though there's much less opportunity for this when it comes to running), but there something more fun about being there.

Watching running events varies in how easy it is to see what's going on in person. The most difficult event to watch in person is the marathon. Although you can drive or bike around to watch in multiple locations, it's difficult to get a good idea of what sort of pace the runners are running and how the lead has changes over the course of the race.

Track is the easiest to watch in person. The athletes run around an oval, so it's easy to see the lead changes and watch the split times to know the athletes' paces.

Cross country falls in the middle. Last week I watched a sectional cross country meet, and besides watching the runners, watching the spectators can be entertaining as well. Spectators start near the starting area, and then make a mad dash to the next location to watch the runners. It's pretty cool seeing a whole mass of people make their way from one location to another to watch the runners at the various locations on the course.

If you ever get the chance, I'd highly recommend watching a cross country meet. Not only do you get to see hundreds of runners doing their best to run as fast as they can over the grass covered course, you also get a little exercise as you run from one location to the next.

Run well.

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