Now, there’s an interesting idea. Why bother with a set distance. I’m sure anyone who has run high school cross country can think of at least one course where you ran around a baseball outfield or a football field just to get to the standard distance. It’s cross country, why have standard distances?
Give a set distance range, maybe 4K to 5K for high school and 8K to 10K for college and the pros. Then build a course that makes sense. As long as the runners know ahead of time what the distance is going to be, what’s the harm?
I really like that, it’s a great idea.