Runners start the race from standing position along a curved starting line and after hearing the sound of starter's pistol they head towards the innermost track to follow the quickest route to the finish. In case of 800 meters race athletes begin at staggered starting point before the turn in the track and they must remain in their lanes for the first 100 m of the race. This rule was started in order to minimize the extent of physical jostling among runners in the early stages of the race. Physiologically these middle distance events demand that athletes have good anaerobic and aerobic energy producing system, and also that they have strong speed endurance.
The 1500 m and a mile run event have historically have been some of the most prestigious track and field events.
Beyond the short distances of sprinting events, factors such as an athlete's reactions and top speed becomes less important, while qualities such as pace, race tactics and endurance become more important.
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