The 400 meters is exactly 1312.34 feet or 437.445 yards (Edited – thanks everyone!)
Conversely, the 440 yard dash = 402.336 meters.
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You can read a lot more on 440 Yard and 400 Meters Races from an earlier blog post where Tommie Smith ran 44.5 400 meters and 44.8 for 440 yards in the same race.
I am reflecting on my last race at WMA 2007 where I ran the 200 meters in lane 2, which is normally an unfavorable lane, but this track was a “fat” track: 122 meter curve and 78 meter straightaway!
Are these tracks normal? What are the standards?
Aside from surfaces, where sprinters love rock hard tracks, what are the IAAF standards? (HINT: 84.39m straightaways and 115.61m curve from lane 1)
The information below came from Sportsbuilders.org which will answer all your questions:
Dimensioning and Configuration
A. Representative Track Configurations:
In the design portion of the project, four basic concepts can be followed:
1. Equal Quadrant Tracks – which are 400m or 1312.34′ (minimum distance) tracks with 100m along each curve and 100m along each straightaway, measured along the measure line of lane one.
2. Non-Equal Quadrant Tracks – which are 400m or 1312.34′ (minimum distance) tracks, measured along the measure line of lane one, with two curved ends of equal radius and two straightaways equal in length but longer or shorter than the curves.
3. The IAAF Track – which specifies a 400m or 1312.34′ (minimum distance) track, measured along the measure line of lane one, with two curves of equal radius measuring 36.80m and two straightaways measuring 84.39m.
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4. Double-Bend Tracks – which are 400m or 1312.34′ (minimum distance) tracks measured along the measure line of lane one, with two straightaways of equal length and two curves that are formed with two different radii. This configuration allows for a wider infield to accommodate a broader range of sports activities.
B. Measure Line
The measure line is defined as a theoretical line from which the distance of a running track is determined. This line is located 20cm from the running side of the painted line for each lane. In the case of a raised curb, the theoretical line is located 30cm from the running side of the raised curb for lane one.
C. Allowable Radius Length
The radius to the measure line of lane one is recommended to be not less than 90′ or more than 130′. For a world record to be set, the radius of the outside lane should not exceed 50m (164.04′) except where the bend is formed with two different radii, in which case, the longer of the two arcs should not account for more than 60 degrees of the 180 degree turn. It is recommended that the radii be permanently marked with a fixed monument.
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I am a Masters Athlete and Coach currently based in London UK. My other projects include the Bud Winter Foundation, writer for the IAAF New Studies in Athletics Journal (NSA) and a member of the Track & Field Writers of America.