IAAF official says cross country distances are always approximate.
It appears that someone did some miscalculating at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships.
The courses were all too short and too long.
Letsrun.com is reporting that the loop runners completed as part of the 6km, 8km and 10km races was 1,920 meters. Therefore, the races were actually 5.88km, 7.83km and 11.67km during the March 24 event in Bydgoszcz, Poland.
The Web site quoted IAAF official Paul Hardy, who had this to say about the course layout:
Our Rules indicate that the course length for the WXC should be approximately 12km, 8km, and 6km. Due to the various conditions in which cross country is run (hills vs. flat, straight vs. winding, etc.), the times mean little. Cross country courses are not measured using the same accuracy of a road course, which is another reason the distances are approximate.
For more: LetsRun.com