There are many different athletics running and jumping event for both men and for women.

The running events

There are 100 and 200 metre sprints.

There are 400, 800 and 1500 metre races which are called middle distance events.

The distance events are the 3000 metre race for women, the 5000 metre race for men and there is a 10, 000 metre race for men and for women.

In the hurdles races there are ten hurdles made of wood and metal which the runners jump over. Men's hurdles races are 110 and 400 metres and women's are 100 and 400 metres

There is a 3,000 metre steeplechase event for men and women where they jump over 28 hurdles and cross 7 water jumps.

There are relay running races for teams of 4 men and teams of 4 women.

Runners in a relay race pass a baton to each other.© Getty Images

Runners in a relay race pass a baton to each other.© Getty Images

The Olympic marathon

The longest running race is the marathon. It is 42 kilometres for men and for women.

The marathon begins and finishes inside the stadium. In between the start and the finish, the runners race along city roads for a distance of 42 kilometres.

The idea for the marathon came from the legend of Pheidippides, a Greek messanger who carried the news of a Greek victory over the Persians at the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC. Unfortunately, it is said that Pheidippides dropped dead after announcing the news!

The jumping events

Athletes run and take off from the take-off board, landing in the sand pit. © Getty Images

Athletes run and take off from the take-off board, landing in the sand pit. © Getty Images

Long jump was once called broad jump. Athletes run along a runway to a wooden take-off board embedded in the runway and level with the ground. The edge of the take-off board nearest the sand pit is called the take-off line. Any athlete who oversteps the take-off line forfeits the jump. Competitors are allowed three jumps.

The first recorded long jump was in 708 BC, when a Spartan called Chionis jumped 7.05 metres at the games in ancient Greece.

Competitors in the long jump and the triple jump must take off from the take-off board © Getty Images

Competitors in the long jump and the triple jump must take off from the take-off board © Getty Images

Triple jump is also known as hop, step and jump. Rules for the triple jump are the same for the long jump.

The athlete makes a running start along a runway, hops and lands on the same foot, takes one step onto the other foot and then jumps as far as he or she can into the sand pit.

 

A high jumper takes off from one foot. © Getty images

A high jumper takes off from one foot. © Getty images

High jump An athlete in high jump tries to propel his or her body over a bar that rests across two upright poles. The jumper must take off from one foot after an approach from any angle along a semi-circular runway. Three misses at any height and the athlete is out of the contest.

High jump was an event at the ancient Olympic Games.

Pole vault

 

The athlete carrying a long, flexible, fibre glass pole sprints along a short runway, jams the pole into a sloping metal box beneath the bar, and pushed himself or herself up and over the bar. The athlete's body passe over the bar legs first and face down. The pole is pushed away and the athlete lands in a pit of foam.

Athletes are allowed three vaults at each height. Three misses at any height and the athlete is out of the contest.

In earlier times, poles were made of bamboo, steel and aluminium

There are also walking races for men and for women.

Read the kidcyber pages about the Heptathlon and the Decathlon

Read more about Olympic track and field events and watch video

http://www.olympic.org/athletics