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Posted by on Jul 15, 2020 in TellMeWhy |

How Does an Athlete Races over Hurdles?

How Does an Athlete Races over Hurdles?

An athlete races over hurdles in hurdling. It is a sport in athletics (track and field) in which an athletic runner races over a series of obstacles called hurdles, which are set a fixed distance apart. Hurdling is to run and leap over obstacles while maintaining speed.

Does a runner get disqualified for hitting the hurdle in a race? In all levels of competition, runners are required to attempt to clear each hurdle. A hurdler who runs around a hurdle is automatically disqualified.

Runners must run in lanes throughout a race, and, although they may knock hurdles down, a runner who trails a foot or leg alongside a hurdle or knocks it down with a hand is disqualified. The first hurdler to complete the course is the winner.

Hurdle races were first popularized in the mid-19th century in England. In 1830, the first known event of 100-yard took place over heavy wooden barriers. The origin of 400m hurdle races lies in Oxford around 1860. Hurdle events are included in the combined event competitions like decathlon and heptathlon. The 100m, 110m and 400m hurdle events are also a part of the Summer Olympics.

The champion hurdler needs to be a fast sprinter, but not necessarily the fastest sprinter. Sprinting and hurdling are quite different sports. To be a great hurdler means that the athlete must be able to jump over obstacles with minimum disruption to his velocity.

Three prominent hurdle’s event are 110m hurdles (men), 100m (women) and 400m hurdles. The height of each hurdle depends on the age group and gender of the competitors. In the 110m event for men, hurdles are set to be 3.5ft (1.07m) high, whereas in the 100m event for women, the height is set at 2.75ft (0.838m). Regardless of the hurdle heights the number of hurdles that must be cleared in each race remains the same – ten.

The first of the ten hurdles stands at 13.72m from the starting line. The next nine are evenly spaced at 9.14m from one another. A hurdler would need to figure out his stride pattern – how many strides to take before he reaches the next hurdle? While it differs from hurdler to hurdler, it is not uncommon to take seven to eight strides to the first hurdle. Beyond the first hurdle, the athlete usually takes three strides to in between all the other hurdles that follow. So now you know, how does  an athlete races over hurdles.

Content for this question contributed by Darrell Morrison, resident of Feeding Hills, Hampden County, Agawam, Massachusetts, USA