Different Types of Running Races


Running races are one of the most interesting events of the track and field competitions and these races grab majority of attention on those occasions. There are several types of the running races in modern day athletics and the following part of the article will deal with those types.

Sprints or Short Distance Races

One of the most popular type of the running races are the sprints or the races with a short running distance. In this category or a type of the running races there are several disciplines that are divided only on the distance that is being run. One of the most popular races is the 100 meter race and this usually is one the final races in every track and field competition whether it is in the Olympic Games of IAAF Diamond League meeting. Besides the 100 meter race, there is also a 200 meter races and it is also very popular race. The main reason for that is that majority of sprinter who compete in the 100 meter race will also participate in the 200 meter race. The final discipline of the short distance races is the 400 meter race. This race is not quite as popular as the previous two, but still, the winners of those running races are among the most respected athletes in the world. Short Distance Races are the same length for both men and women. Current record holder for each discipline are Usain Bolt for 100 meter and 200 meter race while Wayde van Niekerk is currently holding the record in 400 meter race. In the women’s competition, world record in 100 meter and 200 meter race holds late Florence Griffith-Joyner while Marita Koch holds the world record in 400 meter race.

Middle Distance Races

Just like it is the case with the short distance races there are several disciplines in this type of the running races. Those disciplines are 800 meter race, the 1500 meter race and the 1 mile race. In comparison to the short distance races, the middle distance races demand different types of skills. While short distance races demand good strength and very high speed, the middle distance races do not require that much of a strength. The most important thing for the athlete who is competing in the middle distance races is the endurance and tactics. However, it is not true that these types of races do not require strength. They do, but not as much as the short distance races. Current world record holder in the 800 meter race is David Rudisha from Kenya while Hicham el Guerrouj from Morocco holds the world record in 1500 meter race. Hicham el Geurrouj also holds the world record in the 1 mile run. However, this discipline is not an Olympic discipline.

Long Distance Races

long track- ace

Long Distance Races are in many things very similar to middle distance races. Just like middle and short distance races, long distance races have several disciplines and those are the 3,000 meter race, the 5,000 meter race and the 10,000 meter race. One of the similarities that long distance races have with the middle distance races is that strength is not that important factor. More important are endurance and the tactics. Marathon can also be included in this type of races. The official distance of the marathon is 42.195 kilometers or 26.219 miles and it is often considered to be the most difficult running races organized by IAAF.

Hurdles and Relay Races

A special type of the running race are the hurdles race. There are several disciplines of hurdles races and they are 100 meter hurdle race and 400 meter hurdle race for women an 110 meter hurdle race for and 400 meter race for men. These are the races in which athletes must jump over the obstacle in order to go over the finish line and these races demand not only strength and good work but also a good coordination of speed and strength between two hurdles.

Relay races are races in which teams of athletes compete against other teams. There are two different discipline that are part of this type of running race and those are 4×100 meter race and 4×400 meter race. The first runner from a team runs one distance with baton and after finishing the distance he or she hands off the baton to the second runner. However, the baton must be handed off in strictly specified area, otherwise the team will be disqualified.