My event is the 100 and 400 Meter Hurdles. After World War I is when women started competing in the hurdles sprint race, but the distances varied a lot in the beginning. There was a 100 meter hurdle in the 1922 Women’s World Games, but from 1926-1968 the races became 80 meters with 8 hurdles. In the 1960’s they started doing trial runs and then first implemented the 100 meter hurdle again in the 1969 European Athletics Championships in Athens, and then was brought to the Olympics in 1972. This event has 10 hurdles each standing at 2.75ft. The first hurdle is 13 meters away from the starting line and then the rest of the hurdles are all set 8.5 meters away from one another and is scored by how fast you make it to the finish line. Fallen Hurdles will not count against your score unless you run into them on purpose, but the hurdles are weighted so knocking them over effects your run time. The fastest runners of the 100 meter hurdles usually finish in about 12.5 seconds and the world record is held by Yordanka Donkova of Bulgaria at 12.21 seconds. This event is also only run by women as men run a 110 meter hurdle.
The 400 meter hurdle goes all the way back to 1860 when a race in Oxford, England was held, even though this race was actually a little over 400 meters. This race became a part of the Olympics for men in 1900. The first women 400 meter hurdle wasn’t held until 1971, then officially became recognized a women’s discipline in 1974 and then was introduced as a women’s event in the Olympics in 1984. 400 meters is equivalent to 1 full lap around an outdoor track and there are 10 hurdles evenly spaced out. In this race you have a block start and each runner must stay in their respective lane. Like the 100 meter there is no penalty for knocking hurdles over, but again they are weighted and do slow runners down. The fastest men usually finish in about 47 seconds while the women usually finish in about 53 seconds. The men’s world record came at the 1992 Olympics by American runner Kevin Young who finished in 46.78, and the women’s world record was set by Yuliya Pechonkina of Russia in 2003 at 52.34 seconds.
Our volunteering at this year’s EAC doesn’t start for a few more days so we have been going around Amsterdam and some of the other areas near by to see the country and learn about their culture. We have gone on a few trips and tours as a group and also got to experience the city on our own in smaller groups, but my favorite two things we have done so far are go to the cheese market in Holland, and then the canal vaulting. The cheese market is incredible and I got to taste some really good cheese that I did not expect to like. They also had a lot of cool little shops that I got most of my gifts for family and friends from. Then the canal vaulting, which I did not know existed until this trip, was a blast, though I was pretty upset I did not get to try the canal vault that they do in competitions because they do not let first timers try even though they thought I would’ve made it. Another thing that I really enjoy here, and the little groups I’ve been hanging out with know, is talking to local people and other tourists from around the world to learn about their culture, language, and lifestyles such as they do not have a middle school in Amsterdam, maybe all of Netherlands but I’m not positive, you just go from elementary to high school. We are going to Anne Frank’s house later today which I am very excited to see, this city is so unique with so much history it’s unbelievable and I can’t wait to see what lies ahead on the rest of our trip.