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23 things you see at every cross country meet

There's no doubt cross country is a sport unlike any other, and only those who are a part of it truly understand it, but that's what makes it so great.

In honor of this weekend's regional championships, let's review some of the things we've seen at every meet this season:

  1. The world’s longest porta-potty lines

  2. The kid who warms up in flannel pajama pants

  3. The coach with six stopwatches and a clipboard

  4. The coach that runs everywhere

  5. Overzealous leg slapping at the start line

  6. Parents trying to decipher the course map and debating the best spots to watch

  7. Parents then racing to said best spots

  8. The teammate who wears excessive KT tape

  9. The dad who always says, “Well why didn’t you just run faster?” when you're disappointed with your time

  10. The overprotective volunteer who won’t let anyone remotely close to the finish line

  11. Or the volunteer who insists you keep moving through the finish chute even when you’re about to throw up

  12. A cornucopia of granola bars, bagels, and bananas at each tent

  13. Dogs. Even when there are “No dog” signs posted everywhere, there are always dogs

  14. Younger siblings running around, wrestling, and exploring

  15. The naturally talented freshman who has no idea how fast he or she actually is

  16. Or the kid who has a ridiculously fast kick leaving you to wonder if he even ran the first part of the race

  17. Short shorts

  18. The superstitious teammate with a very particular race-day routine

  19. Pre-race huddles, chants, and dances at the start line

  20. The teammate who throws up after every race

  21. Teams that go on really long cool downs

  22. Competitors and rivals giving high fives at the finish line

  23. A bunch of really hard-working kids with an unusual bond that’s not found in most sports

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