Cross country running is a sport in which runners compete to complete a course over open or rough terrain. The courses used at these events may include grass, mud, woodlands, hills, flat ground and water. It is a popular participatory sport, and usually takes place in temperate regions during the autumn and winter when soft conditions underfoot prevail.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers are the college sports team for the University of Minnesota. The university fields both men's and women's teams in basketball, cross country, gymnastics, golf, ice hockey, swimming, tennis, and track and field. Men's-specific sports include baseball, football, and wrestling. Women's-specific sports include rowing, soccer, softball, and volleyball. Joel Maturi has been the Athletic Director since 2002.