Danish organisers of the 2019 International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Cross Country Championships have revealed that they are taking inspiration from Britain, spiritual home of the sport.
Danish Athletics Federation President Jakob Larsen told insidethegames that they visited Wollaton Park in Nottingham in February to watch the the English Cross Country Championships,
A total of 8,000 runners take part in an event held annually since 1876, making it the oldest cross country race in the world.
The rules and traditions of cross country racing were established in Britain and Larsen wants the sport to return to its roots.
He revealed this during a visit here to inspect the course by IAAF President Sebastian Coe, timed to coincide with the SportAccord Convention.
The race in 2019 could also include obstacles - or "challenge zones", as Larsen called them - to make the event even more difficult.
"We believe the World Cross Country Championships is the world's toughest foot race and we wanted a course that reflects that," Larsen said.
"We will provide a course that will make the runners wear the mud as a badge of honour."
Indeed, the event's slogan is "Mud is our tattoo".
The course here today was bathed in unseasonably warm sunshine but Larsen is guaranteeing mud when the event is due to be held in March 2019.
"We will do what is necessary to make sure it is muddy," he told insidethegames.
The course will include running across the sloping grass roof of the Museum dedicated to archaeology and ethnography.
"It is really, really exciting because it will showcase our sport in an innovative, modern, exciting setting but also show that cross country is a tough sport, and it returns it to what I will describe as a traditional cross country course with the surrounding landscape," said Coe.
The event in recent years has been dominated by African runners.
The last non-African born winner of the men's race was Portugal's Carlos Lopes in 1985 and the last woman was Australia's Benita Johnson in 2004.
Britain did not even send a team to compete in the men's senior event at this year's World Cross Country Championships in Kampala.
Coe is urging European countries not to give up on the event.
"I want to see full teams here, that's really important," he said.
"There is a growing recognition that our younger coaches understand how important cross country is.
"I think you'll find standards will raise on the track if they start taking it more seriously.
"Sometimes I hear people say it's impossible to do both cross country and track to a high-level but it didn't seem to bother Paul Tergat or Kenenisa Bekele."
Between them, the Kenyan and Ethiopian won an incredible 16 gold medals in the World Cross Country Championships, as well as six Olympic medals, including three gold.
Coe is also still campaigning for cross country to be reintroduced to the Olympic programme having appeared in 1912, 1920 and 1924.
"I would love to see cross country back on the Olympic programme and, maybe even, the Winter programme to give Africa a greater opportunity to engage in the Winter Games," he said.
"I am not in a position to make that happen but I have entered into these discussions on a regular basis and I want to take every opportunity to promote it."