Outdoor track and field
The outdoor track and field season begins in the spring and may
last through the summer. Usually the tracks are an oval shape track
of 400 meters. However, some old tracks are still measured in
yards, so they measure 440 yards. The track consists of 6-10 lanes
and, for the bigger tracks, a steeplechase lane with a water pit.
This can be inside or outside the track, making for a tighter turn
or a wider turn. Often schools will place a playingfield in the
middle of the track, usually football/soccer/lacrosse, due to
their size and shape. This inner field is usually known as the
infield. Recently, some of these fields have been made out of
Field events consist of the
high jump, pole vault, long jump, triple jump and shot put. They
also consist of the javelin, hammer and discus throws; however,
often these are outside of the stadium because they take up a large
amount of space and may damage grass fields. However, many tracks
without a playing field in the middle use the infield for the
There are other variations besides the ones listed below, but
races of unusual length (e.g. 300 m) are run much less often. The
unusual races are typically held during indoor season because of
the shorter 200m indoor track. With the exception of the mile run,
races based on imperial distances are rarely run on the track
anymore since most tracks have been converted from a quarter mile
(402.3 m) to 400 meters; almost all recordkeeping for imperial
distances has been discontinued. However, the IAAF record book
still includes the mile world record (currently held by
Guerrouj of Morocco for men and
Masterkova of Russia for women)
because of its worldwide historic significance.
Men and women do not compete against each other. Women generally
run the same distances as men although hurdles and steeplechase
barriers are lower and the weights of the shot, discus, javelin and
hammer are less.
- Track events - running events conducted on a 400 meter track.
events up to and including 400 m. Common events are 60 m (indoors
only), 100 metres,
200 metres and
distance: events from 800m to 3000 m, especially
mile and 3000m. In
the United States (especially high schools), distance events
include 800 m, 1600 m (mile), and 3200 m (2 miles). (1
- a race (usually 3000 m) in which runners
must negotiate barriers and water jumps.
distance: runs over 5000 m. Common events are 5000 m and
10000 m. Less common
are 6, 12, 24 hour races.
- Hurdling: 110 m high
hurdles (100 m for women) and 400 m intermediate hurdles (300 m
in some high schools).
- Relays: 4 x 100 metres
relay, 4 x 400 metres
relay, 4 x 200 m, 4 x 800 m, etc. Some events, such as medley
relays, are rarely run except at large relay carnivals. Most
American high schools run the 4x100 and 4x400, with the 4x400 being
the finishing event to the meet.
- Road running:
conducted on open roads, but often finishing on the track. Common
events are half-marathon and marathon.
The marathon is the only distance run in major international
athletics championships such as the Olympics.
- Race walking:
usually conducted on open roads. Common events are 10 km, 20 km and
- Field events
- Throwing events
- Jumping events
- Combined or Multi events