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The following history of the Cross Country Trail Run is courtesy of Cindy and Gordan Neal.
The first " cross country " was in January 1980 in Cameron Park. It was a fun run, no entry fee. Included Jacob's ladder. In 1981 it was held in Midway Park.
Then in 1982 when Dick Ogden of the Waco Striders Running Club noticed that the World Cross Country Championship was in jeopardy because of the turmoil in Poland, he decided to have a substitute race in Waco on February 17.
He called the race the 1982 WORLD Cross Country Championship. “WORLD” meaning Waco Organization for Runners of Long Distance.
The five-mile event was run entirely on grass and dirt over a rolling terrain. To make the race a truly “international” affair, the entrants were seeded and placed on 23 teams representing foreign countries. In addition, many leading runners in the Southwest with foreign backgrounds were invited to compete and the race field was of unusually high quality. Amon the runners were New Zealand’s Peter Snell, Kenyan Ben Morturi, Mexican Juan Zetina, Puerto Rician Tony Colan, South African Manfred Kohrs, Japanese Yukon Tomisata, Norwegian Marit Risan, and Americans Todd Harbour and Steve Flanagan. Moturi and Harbour finished in a dead heat in 25:05, extremely fast over a difficult course made tougher after more than an inch of rain less than two days before the race.