Local Event Sports Association

The 300-Meter Dash: Sprinting’s Odd Stepchild

By Rojo Grande On May - 11 - 2010

Just beyond turn two, hidden in obscurity on most track and field ovals, lie the staggered starting marks for a seldom-contested race: the 300-meter dash.

Unrecognized as an official distance (for world record purposes) by the IAAF, and relegated to "training distance" status by most elite athletes, the 300 meters is about to have its moment in the sun.

It is possible that Usain Bolt himself could anoint the rarely-run race with his Midas touch.

On May 27, Bolt will attempt to break Michael Johnson's 300m record time of 30.85 at the Czech Golden Spike meet in Ostrava.

If successful, the honor would make a nice addition to Bolt's already-crowded trophy case. He owns the world records in the 100m, 150m, 200m and 4x100m relay.

Getting the record, however, may not be the piece of cake some might imagine. Johnson's mark is quite impressive, considering the 300m is run over two straights and a full curve.

Depending on the lane assignment, entering the turn at top speed and full stride could be tricky. It is a unique challenge (particularly for taller sprinters) not seen in any other race distance.

In addition, Johnson was primarily a 20...

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