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Fan's Guide to Track and Field Page 5 of 5 (Other Events)

Track & Field1- History & Essentials
2- Track
3- Field
4- Diagram of Track
5- Special Events and Cross Country

Special Events

Some track teams compete in additional events, such as the decathlon, heptathlon, or pentathlon, in which athletes compete in 10, 7, or 5 of the track and field events, respectively. Specialty relays are also run during some events such as the medley relay (teammates run a mix of distances) and the shuttle relay (back and forth relay). Another specialty event is the steeplechase, in which athletes run 7.5 laps and jump obstacles during the race. Finally, some competitions include the hammer throw, a throwing event similar to the shot-put and discus, except that the athletes use the hammer (metal ball, wire, and handle) as the weight.


Cross country is a sport that many track athletes compete in during the fall season. Races take places in rural areas that have grass, dirt, mud, water, and hills. While the races range from 2500 m to 5000 m, the 5 k (5000 m or 3.1 miles) is the most common race. Each team uses the first seven runners to calculate its score. The runners are given points based on their finish in the race (1st place = 1 point, 2nd place = 2 points, etc.). Each team adds the points from five of the seven runners and the team with the lowest total score wins. The 6th and 7th runners help the team win by beating the slowest members of the other team.


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