Posted by Lotg on October 13, 2004
In Reply to: Cross-country posted by SR on October 12, 2004
: : : : Hello,
: : : : In Tuchman's book "Stilwell" it says that stilwell participated in West Point cross-country team. I understand that it's a kind of sport you do outside in the fields etc., but is it skiing? running? driving? I mean, is it possible to know that from the west Point context?
: : : : Thanks
: : :
: : : Well, in the UK, 'cross-country' would certainly mean running. I assume it would mean the same in the US, but I am ready to be corrected on that point.
: : : DFG
: : I know nothing about sports. But Merriam-Webster says:
: : Main Entry: cross-country
: : Function: noun
: : cross-country racing or skiing
: Cross-country is literally what it sounds like, running or skiing across the country. Cross-country skiing is called 'Nordic' skiing. Cross=country running is similar to marathon running and is very popular in high school and college athletics here in the U.S. In this particular question, I believe that the author is referring to the West Point Cross-country running team.
Seems we all have 'fond' memories of our PE teachers - myself included. However, in answer to Itzhar's original question, as SR said, cross country is literally that. It applies to any sport at all that is done across country. You can have cross country skiing, running, horse racing, car racing, anything - just as long as it crosses country. It's usually reasonably high on the endurance level, and in my own highly biased opinion, only carried out by thrill seekers and wallies. But then, I'm a lounge lizard. Although I do have momentary fits of stupidity where I go for months doing cross-country walking - known here as bushwalking.
Also here when done in a car, on an amateur level we call it scrub bashing, on a professional level it's called off road racing, touring car racing or rally cross.