The hurdles race consists of a track with ten hurdles in each lane, spaced evenly over the course of the track. Contestants are required to jump over each hurdle with both feet clearing the height of the hurdle bar. The hurdles are positioned in such a way that they will fall over if the runner touches them and although contestants will not be disqualified for knocking hurdles down accidentally, they will be penalized for knocking them down deliberately. Contestants must stay in lane throughout the race and will be disqualified for changing lanes or obstructing another athlete. There are three types of hurdle races which commonly take place at athletics competitions:
- 110 m hurdles – Designed for male competitors, the 110 m hurdle event consists of ten hurdles at 1.067 m high, with the first hurdle being placed 13.72 m from the starting block and the following nine hurdles placed at a distance of 9.14 m from each other.
Record Breaker: Colin Jackson (GBR) – 12.91 secs, 20/08/1993
- 100 m hurdles – Designed for female competitors, the 100 m hurdle event consists of ten hurdles at 84 cm high, with the first hurdle being placed 13 m from the starting block and the following nine hurdles placed at a distance of 8.50 m from each other.
Record Breaker: Yorkdanka Donkova (BUL) – 12.21 secs, 20/08/1988
- 400 m hurdles – this race is commonly run by both male and female athletes. It consists of ten hurdles at 91.44 cm for male events and ten hurdles at 76.20 m for female events. In both the male and female 400 m hurdles, the first hurdle is placed 45 m from the starting block with a distance of 35 m between each hurdle and 40 m from the last hurdle to the finishing line.
Record Breakers: Men: Kevin Young (USA) – 46.78 secs, 06/08/1992
Women: Kim Batten (USA) – 52.61 secs, 11/08/1995