Masters Athletics
Track and Field - World Rankings


Track and Field - Athletics

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Athletics, also known as track and field or track and field athletics, is a collection of sports events that involve running, throwing and jumping. The name is derived from the Greek word "athlon" meaning "contest".


Events - Masters Events >>

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 m; almost all recordkeeping for imperial distances has been discontinued. However, the IAAF record book still includes the mile world record (currently held by Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco for men and Svetlana Masterkova of Russia for women) because of its worldwide historic significance.

Men and women do not compete against each other, although they may sometimes run in the same races due to time constraints at high school meets. 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 m track.
    • Sprints: events up to and including 400 m. Common events are 60 m (indoors only),
      100 meter Dash,
      200 meter Dash
      400 meter Dash.

    • Middle distance: events from 800 meter to 3000 m, 800m, 1500m, mile and 3000m. (Note: In the United States, high school athletes in most states normally run the 800m, 1600m, and 3200m. In a few states high school athletes run the 1500 meter and 3000m instead of the 1600m and 3200m.)

      • Steeplechase - a race (usually 3000 m) in which runners must negotiate barriers and water jumps.
    • Long distance: runs over 5000 meter . Common events are 5000 m and 10000 meter. Less common are 1, 6, 12, 24 hour races.
    • Short Hurdling: 110 m high hurdles (100 m for women) and 400 m intermediate hurdles (300 m in some high schools).
    • Relays: 4 x 100m relay, 4 x 400 m relay, 4 x 200 m relay, 4 x 800 m relay, etc. Some events, such as medley relays, are rarely run except at large relay carnivals. Typical medley relays include the distance medley relay (DMR) and the sprint medley relay (SMR). A distance medley relay consists of a 1200 m leg, a 400 m leg, an 800 m leg, and finishes with a 1600 m leg. A sprint medley relay consists of a 400 m leg, 2 200 m legs, and then an 800 m leg. Most American high schools run the 4x100, 4x400 and 4x800 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 over 5km, 10km, half-marathon and marathon, and less commonly over 15km, 20km, 10 miles, and 20 miles. The marathon is the only common road-racing distance run in major international athletics championships such as the Summer Olympics.
  • Race walking: usually conducted on open roads. Common events are 10 km, 20 km and 50 km.