Relay Race


The  relay race  or post race , as it is also known in some parts of the world, is the race that is done on foot, usually run by teams of four members, although there may be more, and in which each member of the team is He is in charge of running a certain distance, passing a tube called a “ witness ” to the member who awaits him ahead, and in this way he runs successively until he reaches the finish line and ends the race. It is important to mention that relief is the act and consequence of replacing an individual regardless of the type of activity that is being carried out. The relay race can be given in different categoriessports such as running, swimming, cross-country skiing, and skating. Within the Olympic games there are several types of races that are included within the athletics category.


Relay Race

The  relay race is the race that is carried out in teams composed of four members , although there may be more depending on the type of sport . It consists of running a number of meters passing a tube called a witness , from one runner to another, until reaching the finish line.


What is the relay race?

To explain the  relay race it is also important to establish the concept of race, which can refer to the  competition  during which each participant tries to reach the finish line before the rest of the competitors. The objective of the relay race is to travel the path that has already been previously established in the least amount of time possible: that is, at the highest possible speed.


The relay races or relay races are carried out by means of two or more teams that participate in the same field or track. The members of each team, in addition to having to run at full speed, must also pass an element known as a witness among themselves : otherwise, they would not be able to continue the race . To give an example we can refer to a relay raceof 400 meters, carried out by a team of four members per team. Each athlete must travel a distance of 100 meters, every 100 meters a teammate will be waiting for him, this partner to whom he must give the baton to advance in the race. Once the second athlete received the baton, this second runner can start his race and complete his 100 meters. Following these steps mentioned above, athlete 1 will have to run 100 meters carrying the baton and then must hand it over to athlete 2, who must run another 100 meters and deliver the baton to athlete 3. After another 100 meters run by athlete number 3, this athlete must pass the baton to athlete 4, who is responsible for crossing the finish lineat the end of the race. The team that completes the post race first is the winner . Regardless of the discipline or the type of sport that is being executed during the race, the competition will be similar, each participant must run a certain route on the track and then give the next athlete the possibility to carry out the same activity until the end.

History of the relay race

In ancient times racing was very fashionable especially during funeral celebrations . The main objective was to carry the sacred flame to a certain place in the hills of the place by means of torches. With the passing of time, the races evolved into a race that went from one altar to another. For example, in the races held in Athens , the torch was lit on the altar of Eros and was carried to Plato’s academy , since these distances were extremely long, the runners who carried the torch passed it from one to another during the route. .

In the United States , the New York firefighters were in charge of making them popular by running a charity run with this modality. Relay racing became famous at the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm, during which the United States won the 4 x 400 meter relay and women’s relays were introduced at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games.

Relay race tests and rules


  • A maximum of 8 players can be registered per team, but only 4 can participate.
  • The post will be made up of 2 women and 2 men.

The race

  • The team that wins will be the one that manages to complete the race in the shortest time possible.
  • Five minutes after the schedule is established, if the runners do not appear on the field, they will not be able to participate in the race.

Race system

  • The basic rules of athletics will be used .
  • The teams are made up of four runners and each of them runs an approximate distance of 80 meters and then for the testimony to the next player, so on until the end of the race.


  • The team may be disqualified if it runs the race without the testimony.
  • Three false starts will be penalized.
  • If the opposing team’s court is invaded, the team will have an infraction.
  • The judges will not be able to start a race if they consider that the public interferes with the physical integrity of the runners.

Race control

  • Three judges will be in charge.
  • The judge will be the only authority on the track, his decisions cannot be appealed and he is the only one who has the power to suspend the race.


Three main phases occur in a relay race. In the preparation phase, the incoming runner maintains maximum speed and the outgoing runner must assume the starting position.

In the acceleration phase, runners must synchronize their speed, keeping it at the highest level and maximizing acceleration (outgoing runner)

The last phase of passage consists of the passage of the testimony so that it is exchanged with a very adequate technique and at the highest possible speed.

Relay race track

The standard track consists of 6 to 8 lanes , each of them 400 meters long and two parallel lines and two curves whose radii are equal. The measurement of the contour of the track is acquired 30 centimeters outside of the inner edge of the same. Each athlete has a lane from 122 to 125 centimeters and this lane is marked by lines 5 centimeters high.

What is the witness in a relay race

The witness is also known by the name of testimony , and it is a cylindrical bar made of metal or a similar material that is used in relay races. It is 30 centimeters long and weighs at least 50 grams.

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