Courses At The XC Worlds Were The Wrong Lengths

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Apr. 4, 2013
Event organizers have admitted that the courses at the World Cross Country Championships were not accurate in terms of distance. Photo:

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. 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:


Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

Get our best running content delivered to your inbox

Subscribe to the FREE Competitor Running weekly newsletter