Middle Distance Races

The middle distance races consist of:

  • 800 m – This consists of two circuits around the track, requiring the athlete to demonstrate good speed combined with endurance. In the 800 m the runner is required to stay in their allocated lane until the first curve of the track, when they are then allowed to change lanes, although if a runner deliberately obstructs another contestant they risk being disqualified from the competition.

Record Breakers: Men: Wilson Kipketer (DEN) – 1:41.11, 24/08/1997 Women: Jarmila Kratochvilova (CZE) – 1:53.28, 26/07/1983

  • 1500 m – Also known as the metric mile, the 1500m race requires athletes to run 3.75 times around the track. It requires endurance in order that contestants maintain speed and have enough energy to make a final push to the finish line. Unlike the 800 m, runners can change lanes as soon as the race has started, although like all races, a contestant will be disqualified if they deliberately obstruct another runner.

Record Breakers: Men: Hicham El Guerroui (MOR) – 3:26.00, 14/07/1998 Women: Yunxia Qu (CHN) – 3:50.46, 11/09/1993

  • 1600 m – The Dream Mile. In the modern era this is the only distance that is recognised by the IAAF for record purposes. Made famous for the battle to break the four-minute barrier – the Mile is still run at a few events each year most notably at Oslo.

Record Breakers: Men: Hicham El Guerrouj (MOR) – 3:43.13, 07/07/99 Women: Svetlana Masterkova (RUS) – 4:12.56, 14/08/96