Athletics, often recognized as the mother of all sports, is a collection of activities that include running, walking, jumping, and throwing. Governed by the World Athletics, athletics branches out into six main disciplines: Track and Field, Road Running, Race Walking, Cross Country Running, Mountain Running, and Trail Running. This makes it the only sport with such a wide range of disciplines within it. In this blog post, we will explore these six disciplines and the various events they encompass.
Track and Field
Track and Field events are divided into sprints, middle and long-distance events, jumping events, and throwing events. Sprint events include the 60 metres, 100 metres, 200 metres, 400 meters, 100 metres hurdles, 110 metres hurdles, 400 metres hurdles, and the 4 × 100 metres and 4 × 400 metres relays.
Middle-distance races comprise the 800 metres, 1500 metres, 3000 metres, and 3000 metres steeplechase races. Long-distance events include the 5000 metres and the 10000 metres races.
Jumping events encompass the Long Jump, Triple Jump, High Jump, and Pole Vault. As for throwing events, they feature the Javelin, Shot Put, Hammer Throw, and Discus. Combined events, such as the Decathlon (predominantly for men) and Heptathlon (typically competed by women), also form part of this discipline.
Road Running events are primarily long-distance races, including half-marathons and marathons. However, shorter distances like the 5000 metres, 10,000 metres, and 15,000 metres are also run on roads. Occasionally, unique distances like 1 mile and 2 miles are included in road running events.
Race Walking involves a style of walking that can be performed either on the track or the road. The distances for these events vary widely, ranging from 3500 metres to half-marathons. During the Olympic Games, even longer distances, such as the 50km race, are included.
Cross Country Running
Cross Country Running is a variant of road running but takes place on unique terrains. The distance for these races usually does not exceed 21km, with the longest courses spanning up to 12km.
Mountain Running poses a significant challenge, as it is conducted in mountainous areas. This discipline is typically pursued by experienced and older athletes due to the physical demands of hill climbing, which results in slower running speeds.
Trail Running features the longest distances in athletics, with some races extending to 40 miles, 50 miles, 100 miles, and beyond. These races can take several days to complete and can be conducted on any terrain. This discipline, often referred to as the ultra-marathon, is gaining popularity among athletes worldwide.
In summary, the six disciplines of athletics offer a diverse range of events, catering to various skills and endurance levels. With such a broad spectrum, it’s clear why athletics is revered as a comprehensive and inclusive sport.