The athletes who make up the cross country team at Mississippi State understand up front that if there is no pain, there is no gain.
MSU cross country coach Houston Franks said when it comes to distance runner, it comes down to two aspects.
"Within those aspects, there's a lot that goes into it, but it comes down to who is the fittest and who can endure the most pain," Franks said on Monday. "You can be pretty fit, but if you are not tough, you are not going to be any good at this sport. You have to put the work in and you have to put the miles in.
"It takes a special individual to like to do this. These kids are tough. You are not going to get hit by a 250-pound linebacker like in football, but instead you are going 30 minutes at a time in excruciating pain 5 minutes into it."
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