1. Sports

A Comprehensive Look at Olympic Distance Running

By

A Comprehensive Look at Olympic Distance Running

Noah Ngeny (No. 2389) beats Hicham El Guerrouj (No. 2515) for the 2000 Olympic 1500-meter gold.

Scott Barbour/Allsport/Getty Images
From the near-sprint of the 800 meters to the two-hour drama of the marathon, distance running events will reliably provide some of the great moments of any Olympic Games.

About Olympic Distance Running:

Olympic middle distance and long distance running events include the 800 meters, plus the 1500, 5000, 10,000 and the marathon. All the events offer something different, not only in their combinations of speed, strength and stamina, but in the strategies employed at the various distances.

Olympic Distance Running History:

It took a while for gender equity to triumph, but since the 1988 Olympics women have competed in the same five middle- and long-distance events that the men run. Another fairly recent revolution has been the success of African runners - particularly Kenyans and Ethiopians - especially on the men's side.

Action Image Gallery:

Distance runners demonstrate their speed and endurance while negotiating events ranging from 800 meters to more than 26 miles in the following action photo gallery.

The Athletes:

Take a look at the top 2012 Olympic distance running hopefuls, from the U.S. and around the world, then catch up with some familiar names from the past with these selections.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.