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a means of transportation by which, as defined by P. F. Lesgaft, the body “is either touching the ground with one foot or flying in the air,” in contrast to walking, when the body has constant support on one or two legs. Running is a valuable means of physical exercise. It is used extensively in physical exercises for children and young people, as well as in industrial and general-health gymnastics, in the training of servicemen, in exercises for physical training of the elderly, and in therapeutic physical culture. In sports, running accounts for approximately two-thirds of light athletics and is an element in almost all other kinds of sports.
Track competitions were held in ancient Egypt, Assyria, and ancient Greece. For a long time running was the only sport in the Olympic, Pythian, Nemean, and Isthmian games. In the Middle Ages running was compulsory in the physical training programs of knights and ecclesiastics. Track meets first began in England. In Russia regular running events were first organized in 1888 by P. P. Moskvin (later Honored Master of Sport) and his Amateur Runners Society. By the end of the 19th century track was encouraged in almost all countries.
Track consists of flat races—that is, races on level surfaces, running tracks, and so on—and obstacle races—hurdles, steeplechase, obstacle courses, and crosscountry. The classic track events for men are the sprint (running a short distance; 100, 200, and 400 m), middle-distance race (running 800, 1,000, 1,500, and 2,000 m), longdistance race, or stayer run (running a long distance; 3,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, and 30,000 m), marathon race (42 km and 193 m), and one-hour run; hurdles (110, 200, and 400 m), steeplechase (3,000 m), and relay race (4 X 100, 4 X 200, 4 X 400,4 X 800, and 4 X 1,500 m). For women the events are the 60-, 100-, 200-, 400-, 800-, 1,000-, and 1,500-meter races; hurdles (100 and 200 m); and relay races (4 X 100, 4 X 200, and 4 X 800 m). In all of these events except the marathon world records are registered. Most of the contests, including the marathon, which is obligatory, are included in the program of the Olympic Games.
Among Soviet runners, the most well known are the brothers S. and G. Znamenskii, in whose name an annual prize (since 1947) is awarded to the winner of the Humanité cross-country race in France; in the USSR memorial sports competitions have been held in their honor since 1949; V. Kuts, former eight time world record holder and winner of the 5,000- and 10,000-meter races in the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne; P. Bolotnikov, champion at the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome and twice world record holder in the 10,000-meter race. Among Soviet women who won world acclaim as middle-distance runners are E. Vasilieva, who set 12 world records; N. Otkalenko, who bettered 14 world records; L. Lysenko, champion at the 1960 Olympics and holder of five world records; and I. Press, world record holder and Olympic champion in the 80-meter hurdles, who set six world records at this distance.
Foreign runners include P. Nurmi of Finland, who set 24 world records and was champion of the Olympic Games in Antwerp (1920), Paris (1924), and Amsterdam (1928). The American J. Owens set six world records in one track-and-field meet (Ann Arbor, 1935), and at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin he became the champion in the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes and 400-meter relay. E. Zatopek of Czechoslovakia, who set 18 world records, was an Olympic Games champion in London (1948) in the 10,000-meter race and in Helsinki (1952) in the 5,000-meter race, 10,000-meter race, and marathon. The Australian R. Clarke broke the long-distance and one-hour run records 11 times in 1965. One of the best female runners is F. Blankers-Koen of Holland, winner of four Olympic gold medals (London, 1948) and 14-time world record holder.
What does it mean when you dream about running?
Running away or escaping may indicate that the dreamer needs to get away from a person or situation that is overwhelming the dreamer. A slower pace of life may be indicated.