Have you ever wondered how cross country was invented? Yes? Well here is the answer…
One day a long long time ago the Devil was sitting at home bored on a Sunday afternoon. He was so bored he started to think of ways of how to torture poor unlucky people. He thought about making them walk across burning coals with bare feet, but that wasn’t enough. He thought about making them sleep on beds of sharp nails, but that wasn’t enough. Then whilst out on a walk to the shop he passed a field with a HUGE hill in it and thought up the idea of making people run up it!
He hand-picked a group of people to test out this new torture. On his first test event he made them simply run up the hill as fast as possible. The group completed this and came back down smiling commenting how much they had enjoyed it.
The Devil wasn’t happy so the next time he made them run a whole lap of the field and then sprint up the hill. Off the group went to complete this test and once again they came back saying yeah it was harder than the first time but still quite fun.
By now the Devil was getting annoyed. What was wrong with these people, how could they possibly enjoy running around a field and then up a hill? Were they all clinically insane? He went back to the drawing board and a couple of months later came back to the group.
By now it was the middle of winter. The temperature was well below freezing, the rain was lashing down and the gale force wind made it horizontal stinging his face as the Devil set up the course. The field now more resembled a bog than the nice firm grass of the summer. This had to be the ultimate torture.
The group arrived dressed looking like they were going on an artic expedition. This made the Devil laugh; did they really think it was going to be that easy? This was meant to be torture! The group was made to strip to their vest and pants. As a compromise he did allow them to wear shoes with nails attached to the bottom to help them with a little bit of grip or more like to cause pain to their feet as they hit a solidarity hard section of ground.
The test was now up to 6 laps of the field with a sprint up the HUGE hill on each lap. The route measured approximately 6 miles and as the group set off the Devil chuckled to himself knowing that this time no-one would come back smiling and saying that they enjoyed the test.
Six miles later, half frozen to death and caked in mud the group returned. At first they all declared their hate for the run, it was the worst, hardest thing they had ever done – SUCCESS – the Devil had found the ultimate torture. Or had he?
As the group got on warm clothes and started to thaw out they began to change their minds on the hardness and their hatred of the test. Many started to admit they actually enjoyed it and couldn’t wait to do another one. Whilst others said it was one of the best ways to spend their Saturdays.
The Devil was gutted. He hadn’t invented the worst form of torture ever; instead he had invented a pastime which thousands of people would grow to love. In disgust with himself he dug a massive hole down to the earth’s core and made his new home there. He has vowed to come back and improve his torture techniques but since that fateful day he has never been seen. As long as cross country is still around the Devil doesn’t need another form of torture!!
So there it is. The (not so) true story of how cross country was invented. If only the Devil had had an Xbox to play on back on that fateful day then we would all be happily sticking to running road races during the winter!