The History of the World Cross Country Championships

Cross Country is in many respects the oldest of all of the athletics disciplines. It was born of the need to survive. The need to pursue and the need to escape.

Once the fiefdom of the northern Europeans and their descendants on the five continents, the international cross country scene has been dominated by the African nations in its more recent history.

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These few pages trace that history and some of the great athletes whose exploits gave it substance.

Another page or two will be added in this 26th edition of the IAAF World Cross Country Championships and they will make for exciting reading.

Thanks to Mark Butler, for the compilation of the statistics in this section, and the contributing authors


A Brief History

Legend of Cross



WXC Stats

Best Placing Senior Men by Nation

Best Placing Junior Men by Nation

Best Placing Senior Women by Nation

Best Placing Junior Women by Nation


Year of Women in Athletics
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