Last Updated on November 16, 2012 by Jimson Lee
Last month, I wrote about Track and Field 4×100 meter Relay and Exchanges, which leads me to the question How do you predict a 4×100 meter Relay time?
I say add up the best 4 times of each athlete, subtract 1 sec (due to acceleration) for the 2nd, 3rd, 4th leg, and add 0.1 sec for each of the 3 exchanges. That’s the lead-off leg, 3 x 100m fly times, and 3 perfect exchanges.
Simply add the 4 open 100 meter times and subtract 2.7 seconds. All this assumes one thing: perfect passes and the baton makes it all around the track!
Don’t forget that for each exchange you can gain up to 5 feet (or 2 arms length) in “free distance” with your outstretched arms.
I’ll use the example of GDR’s 41.37 set in 1985 WC in Canberra. Drugs or no drugs, it’s the time I am calculating.
In 1985, the same team ran individual 100 meters in late September in East Berlin, just a few days before Canberra, and they all ran personal bests or season best in that race (NOTE: the wind was +2.0m/s)
Here were the individual results:
- Gladisch 10.99 PB (who would later run lead-off in the WC relay)
- Gohr 10.86 (PB 10.81)
- Auerswald 11.12 (PB 11.04)
- Reiger 11.19 PB
If you use those race times, you get:
10.99 + 9.86 + 10.12 + 10.19 + 0.1 + 0.1 + 0.1 = 41.46
If you take their PB’s, you get:
So 10.99 + 9.81 + 10.04 + 10.19 + 0.1 + 0.1 + 0.1 = 41.33
Pretty darn close, don’t you think?
Coaches, take your best four 100 meter sprinters, and see how this formula works for you, assuming perfect exchanges. Theory is good, but you have to get the baton around the track!
A good example of running your own race can be seen at last year’s Harry Jerome 4x100m relay when the BC team (with my Metro Athletic Clubâ€™s Mike Giuffre) upset Team Canada, Team USA and Team China!