You don't have to be anybody special to be a cross country
runner. I've seen people as young as 3 and as old as, well I'm not sure how old, but there's no limit. All you need is the will power and determination, and perhaps a good pair of tennis shoes
In high school the races are usually 5 kilometers long ( a little over 3 miles). This is one sport where boys and girls compete during the same sports season. They are on different teams, though e.g. girls varsity, boys varsity, girls jv, boys jv.
In my experience as a high school cross country runner, runners are some of the nicest people I've ever met. Only in cross country will a perfect stranger catch you and help you walk after running race.
Don't get me wrong, I love running. There's just something about running through the woods that makes you feel more alive. If you have ever gotten up, just before the sun rose, and walked outside. That smell you smell, that is what running is all about. That everything-is-alive smell that makes you want to become part of it.