For a professional distance runner, the cross country calendar is much different than it was during the prep and collegiate running years. In the U.S., there are a limited number of highly competitive cross country races available. There is a USATF Club Cross Country race held in December, and there is the USA Cross Country Championships held in early February.
Distances contested at club cross are 10k for men and 6k for women. At the championships, which also serves every other year as the cross country trials selection race for the IAAF World Cross Country Championships, the professional distances are 12k for men and 8k for women. World Cross is held in late March and beginning in 2011 will be held in odd numbered years.
Runners interested in competing more frequently in cross country events will need to travel to Europe or other countries, although an occasional competitive meet in the U.S. has been held in January.