and field race in which runners jump over
fencelike obstacles called hurdles
Most races have 10 hurdles at
equal intervals on the track. Both men and
women run a 400-meter hurdle event in
international competition. Men also run a
110-meter race, while women run a 100-meter
event. The rules for all hurdle events are the
same, but the hurdles themselves are different.
All Olympic hurdle races include 10 hurdles.
In the 110-meter, the hurdles measure 1.067
meters (3.5 feet) high. The first hurdle is set
13.72 meters (45 feet) from the starting line.
There are 9.14 meters (30 feet) between hurdles,
and 14.02 meters (46 feet) from the final hurdle
to the finish line.
In the 100-meter, the hurdles measure 0.84
meters (2.75 feet) high. The first hurdle is set
13 meters (~42.65 feet) from the starting line.
There are 8.5 meters (~28 feet) between hurdles,
and 10.5 meters (~34.5 feet) from the final
hurdle to the finish line.
In the 400-meter mens race, the hurdles
are 0.914 meters (3 feet) high. The first hurdle
is set 45 meters (~147.6 feet) from the starting
line. There are 35 meters (~115 feet) between
hurdles, and 40 meters (~131 feet) from the final
hurdle to the finish line. The hurdle setup in
the 400-meter womens race is the same as
the mens 400-meter except the hurdles are
0.762 meters (2.5 feet) high.
Each hurdler must stay in his
or her own lane. Stepping into another runner's
lane or jumping over a hurdle in another lane
results in disqualification.
Runners are not disqualified for knocking a
hurdle over, unless its done intentionally.
Hurdlers can be disqualified for failing to jump
a hurdle or trailing a foot or leg below the
horizontal plane of the top of any hurdle while
clearing the hurdle. Whether a runner knocks down
a hurdle intentionally or by lack of technique is
decided by the event referee.
The ideal stride patterm for hurdling is 7 to
8 steps to the first hurdle, followed by 3 steps
between each hurdle.
1) The runner leans toward the hurdle and
drives the lead knee at the hurdle. The leading
arm is also driven forward and up. 2 & 3) The
runner leans toward the hurdle and lifts the lead
foot to clear the hurdle while bending the
trailing leg up and back. 4) As the lead leg
clears the hurdle and begins coming down on the
other side, the knee and foot of the trailing leg
are pointed away from the body. 5 & 6) As the
leading leg contacts the ground, the trailing leg
is getting into position to begin the next
sequence. Ideally, the hurdler will always lead
with the same leg.
When and how hurdling initially
developed is unknown. The 110-meter high-hurdle
race was introduced to Olympic competition at the
1896 Athens Summer Games, and has been a regular
event ever since. At first, the sport was
performed by simply jumping over the hurdles.
This changed with American Alvin Kraenzlein, who
introduced a new striding technique for getting
over the hurdles in 1900. This technique involved
straightening the front leg while tucking the
back leg underneath the body. After winning both
the 110- and 200-meter hurdle events,
Kraenzlein's technique became the standard for
hurdling and is still used today.
World Book Encyclopedia.
Chicago: World Book-Childcraft International,
Questions or comments about