Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Erica Johnson - 100, 200, 400, 800, 1500M

Today we visited The Hague, a city in South Holland (Amsterdam is in North Holland) where the seat of the government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands lies.  It’s about an hour away from Amsterdam so we had to take the train.  The Hague has its own public transportation system, and although its much less intimidating than what is in Amsterdam, it was introduced to us right as we were becoming used to the buses and trams near our hotel, therefore we decided it’d be best to stay in the same location.  It was a beautiful day, so we chose to go to the beach and ended up staying there the entire day. We didn’t swim because the water was very cold, but we dipped our feet in and lied in the sun.  We ate seafood and visited the pier and got ice cream afterward.
            The buses in The Hague were less fancy than the buses in Amsterdam.  They were small, and I was surprised to see a group of small children sitting amongst us who we later realized were on a field trip to the beach.  The beach was much cleaner and less crowded than I’ve seen in the US, and the strip of restaurants along the beach were very nice and uncrowded as well.  I imagine more Dutch people that live away from the coast come there moreso than tourists, so it seemed like a glance into their world.

            The European Athletics Championship will have many common running/sprinting events.  The 100 m dash is the shortest, performed on a straight stretch of track, and competitors in it are considered the “fastest” athletes. It’s completed in around 10 seconds. The 200 m dash is still a sprint and is completed in around 20-25 seconds.  The 400 meter dash becomes more about how the runner paces her/himself as its completed in 45-55 seconds (it’s basically one time around a track).  The 800 meter event is no longer considered a sprint or short running event, but a middle distance event—it’s two laps around a track. Pacing is critical for this race. While the 800 meter may be less exciting than the shorter sprinting events, I personally have much respect for the athletes that run it. I ran the 800 meter when I ran track in high school and it was extremely challenging. Lastly, the 1500 meter race is the longest middle-distance race. It’s close to 4 laps around a track, at 15/16 of a mile. Advanced athletes can run this in around 4 minutes.

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