I had the dubious pleasure of running my first cross country race in 1969. There wasn't any option in the matter of participation. The entire school was obliged to ,"toe the line," in this annual running carnival. There were three races based on age, juniors, intermediates and seniors and you were running for the glory of your School House.
I didn't enjoy the slip and sliding of Cross Country running then and despite many score of similar races in the intervening forty four years I have never grown to enjoy this genre of the sport of running. Undoubtedly it helps build strength and many athletes and their coaches swear by its importance to their winter training regime. Personally I am more inclined to swear at it. Wet feet, mud caked kit, sodden spikes, continually adjusting your stride pattern and being at constant risk of ending up face down in a muddy puddle. Is it really that strange that I should want to avoid these winter experiences? I don't think so.
It has been suggested that I divest myself of £6 for the pleasure of experiencing a cross country race tomorrow. I suspect that I will not be expending funds. As Flanders and Swann correctly noted the glories of mud are for hippopotami.