Cross Country Extreme Features Obstacles, Costumes and Mud

COLUMBIA — Patches of bright colors broke through gray November woods on Saturday as dragons, zombies, brides, firefighters and other characters raced along off-road trails and through obstacle courses.

Under the mud and costumes were couples, best friends, athletes, children and at least two energetic dogs — all participants in XCX, or Cross Country Xtreme. The first wave started the 4-mile race at 9 a.m. at the Midway Travel Plaza sandbar.

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I did this story on my way out of town for Thanksgiving break. It was another very fun story to report on and to write – with opportunities to talk to some interesting characters and use some creative descriptions. I pushed myself a little bit to keep talking to people to get some of the more interesting stories, instead of just talking to who was the most obvious or whoever looked the most accessible, I did a little bit of both. I knew right away I wanted to talk to the mother and daughter pair, since I had already talked to so many guys, and the daughter was one of the younger runners. I thought they would have something cute to say, and sure enough they did! As with the mushroom hunting and civil war stories, this is the kind of story I actually want to write for my career, so I found it very enjoyable.