Here are 6 events in Track & Field that aren’t official IAAF events, but nevertheless good fun and great for generating interest in Athletics.
Note that the beer mile is omitted because I think it’s unhealthy (at least for me) to drink a full beer, run 400m, and repeat 4 times! (Women only have to drink 3 beers, because of their bodyweight) My eyes would be bloodshot, and my cheeks would be as red as Rudolph’s nose. Not to mention how sick I would be when consuming that much alcohol in such a short period of time.
We’ve come a long way since 1896 and the Panathenaic Stadium which had a track straightaway of 204.07 meters long and 33.35 meters wide! (My ankles just cringe when I think of running a 400m there! Or 400mH :)
#6 – 19 x 84m Mile Relay
Or running a Mile relay on that same track? More specifically, 19 X 84m Mile Relay?
This group still ran 4:21, which is 13.7 seconds per lap (of 84 meters with the two tight turns)
#5 – Running Clockwise, not Counter Clockwise
Running counter clockwise started in the 6th century BC and has stayed that way ever since. That’s over 2600 years!
The University of Ghent conducted a study on why all athletic track events run anti-clockwise, and the 2011 Brussels Diamond League hosted an unusual event… the Reverse 400 meters running clockwise! In this race, the winner just misses the World Best (since it’s not really a world record).
#4 – Fastest 400-Meter WR While Juggling Three Balls
How about a 400 meters sprint while juggling 3 balls?
Franz Roos completed a 400-meter run in 56.06 seconds while juggling three balls on September 11, 2000. How many Masters men can run 56 seconds for 400 meters?
#3 – Full Decathlon on Ice with Skates
Imagine one day you wake up and your entire track is covered in a sheet of ice?
No worries, Spikey the Mascot has it covered.
Some of the events I cringe upon thinking, like pole vault.
Other events like the 1500m should be much faster than regular track spikes (without ice!).
How about the 400m? His time may surprise you!
#2 – Parallel High Jump or Synchronized Jumping
If you like synchronized swimming, especially the duets, then you’ll like this event.
It’s hard enough to high jump 2.18 meters (7 feet 1.5 inches), let alone one of you jumping it, while the other guy knocks it down, and keeping your composure without strangling the other guy :)
#1 – Retrorunning or Running Backwards
The world bests for a male athlete running backwards is 13.6 for 100 meters, 31.56 for 200 meters, and 69.56 for 400 meters. Four men running the 4×100 meter relay in was set in a time of 62.55.
For the record, the Women’s records are 16.8, 38.47, 1:29.0 and 1:17.8 respectively (100-200-400-4×100)
Other world records are listed here. My hamstrings hurt watching this video!