There's one thing that has always bugged me about the sport of cross country: the proximity of the start line to the finish line. Nine times out of ten I would estimate that the positions at which I start and finish a 5000 meter race are within 400 meters of one another. Now obviosly i understand that its a 5k race, not a 400, but it makes me seem very slow. With my (rather quick) personal best time of 15 minutes, 21 seconds (921 seconds) my average velocity (speed=distance/time) over a 5km distance is a respectable 5.42 m/s. However my actual velocity (dispacement/time, estimated that the start is 400 meters from the finish) is an abysmal 0.43 m/s. Every course has "tangents"- lines that can be run on the course that can cut off like 50 meters from 5000 but unfortunately theres nothing legal that can be done to cut off 4600. On the plus side I can say that I won a race with a velocity of .96 mph.