But, place is ALL cross country has to offer as a quantitative result. Times are meaningless. Ok... sure... times can often not be directly compared on the roads as well due to differences in course difficulty, weather etc. etc. but that pales in comparison to cross country. I ran a 4 km cross country race two weeks ago in which I ran the same pace per km as I did in my half marathon last week... what am I supposed to do with that?
I whine about this now because I have provincial 4 km championships coming up tomorrow which, for members of my team, are "quasi obligatorio". The people on this team have done a lot for me to help me get my feet on the ground so to speak in the Italian racing scene and so I am happy to my part and show up for provincial cross country championships (not to be confused with regional cross country championships I ran two weeks ago). But it doesn't mean I have to like it.