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Middle distance track event

The middle distances are races where the runner tries to go as fast as his training has let him. Sheer determination on the short scale might let you win one middle distance race, but you will probably not be able to run any more for days. Biological factors that go primarily into a middle distance racer are; developed fast and type1 slow twitch muscles, adrenaline (usually for the final kick), anaerobic respiration (bringing it in after the final kick), racing tactics, and aerobic conditioning.

Notice: in the context of these articles, a minimally trained runner can loosely be termed as a person that has trained conistently for over 10 weeks, and is running the race while in condition from this training. Results from people that have not done this do not reflect their potential whatsoever, and should be considered flukes.

Table of contents
1 Common distances (and not so common ones):

Common distances (and not so common ones):

The standard middle distances are the 800, 1500, mile, and the 3000. The 3000 is more common at the high school and collegiate level (along with the two-mile) and is in fact not run at the world championships.


Johnny Gray          1:12.81  Santa Monica, USA  24 May 1986

For women:

Ana Fidelia Quirot   1:22.63  Guadalajara, ESP  25 July 1997


Wilson Kipketer      1:41.11  Köln              24 August 1997

For women:

Jarmila Kratochvílová1:53.28  München           26 July 1983


Noah Ngeny         2:11.96       Rieti             05 September 1999

For women:

Svetlana Masterkova2:28.98       München           23 August 1996



Hicham El Guerrouj   3:26.00  Roma              14 July 1998

For women:

Yunxia Qu            3:50.46  Beijing           11 September 1993


This length of track, 1760
yards, (1609 metres), is very common in countries that don't use the metric system, and is still often referred to as the "Blue Riband" of the track

When the International Amateur Athletic Federation decided in 1976 to recognise only world records for metric distances, it made an exception for the mile and records are kept to this day. (There are no world records for the marathon, also run over imperial distance, because the terrain differs race by race).

Historically, the mile took the place that the 1500m has today. It is still raced on the world class level, but only at select locations. It can be romantically appreciated as a remnant of the past but is still fiercely contested and probably will never go away. It is famous for its 4 minute barrier that so many people tried to break. The term "miler" is sometimes also applied to a 1500m runner. The record at this distance for men:

Hicham El Guerrouj   3:43.13  Roma              07 July 1999

For women:

Svetlana Masterkova  4:12.56  Zurich           14 August 1996


Hicham El Guerrouj   4:44.79  Berlin            07 September 1999

For women:

Sonia O'Sullivan     5:25.36  Edinburgh         08 July 1994


Daniel Komen         7:20.67  Rieti             01 September 1996

For women:

Junxia Wang          8:06.11  Beijing           13 September 1993