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Next Run: Brussels 42K

2012-10-07 09:00:00 GMT+01:00


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Saturday, 26 July 2008

Start with a bang

It is hard to believe but in Beijing they will use an ordinary starting gun. One that just makes al lot of noise and nothing else. No signal to electronics and loudspeakers behind the runners according to this article on the of New Scientist.

Everybody knows the loudspeakers are meant to get the starting signal to all runners at the same time. Without them the runner on the inside track will hear the gun before the runner on the outside track. This difference might be as much as 150 millisecond on a 4x100m relay race where the runners are a long way apart.

Except that the sound needs time to travel to the runnner on the outside track there are two more effects that come into play:
1) the runner on the ouside track is faced with a 'bad start' which will not help in running a relaxed race. A tensed up runner is usualy not the best runner;-)
2) the extra decibels from the bang of the gun will help to get out of the starting blocks faster as research has shown...(I doubt if the kids in the picture get anywhere;-) frightened as they are by the bang of teh gun)

One of the researchers dealing with this topic is Jesus Dapena. If you browse to his research topics you find he also developped a model that takes into account the wind and the airdensity (high level tracks should give faster times that sealevel tracks due to the difference in air density and the lower amount of oxygen has no effect on a 100 meter run)....where was this kind of research when I went to university and the only models I worked on were wingstructures...

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