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Long-distance running over open country. It developed as a competitive event in the mid-19th century. Though originally included in the revived Olympics, it was dropped after 1924 as not suitable for summer competition (most cross-country races are held in the fall or early winter). The first international women's competition was held in 1967. Standard distances are 12,000 m (7.5 mi) for men, and 2,000–5,000 m (1.25–3 mi) for women. Though rules for championship competitions have been established, world records are not kept because of the varying difficulty of courses.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on cross-country running, visit Britannica.com.
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