The expectation to perform well on a relay can be nerve recking but can cause you to run your best.
I can recall blowing huge leads...bringing the team back to a win while anchoring....or just keeping us in the think of things. Relays can bring out a runners worse performances and a runners best. I can say they brought out my best. what about you?
We never did that in HS, but now I have a boy that does it after his 4x4 leg almost every meet. That, and he can't even stand for 5 minutes. I thought he just wasn't well-conditioned, but it's the end of our regular season now (Florida) and it's still the same. I asked him about it and he said (paraphrasing), "I go as hard as I can for 300 and then hold on for dear life." He's run around 50.5 consistently for a month on the relay and never broken 53 in an open race. You gotta love it.
I was a barfer too. Best of 52.1 (52.4y) in the open, but 49.6 (49.9y) relay leg. Run at PR speed for the first 300, then just ignore the pain is far easier to do when you're surrounded by people than being stuck alone in a lane somewhere.
Just more evidence of why the 400 should go back to being a non-lane race. Let everybody break for the pole after one turn and watch the fur fly!
You know, you are right. And let's face it, from a fan's viewpoint up in the stands or watching on TV, the 400 is the worst event out there, because it is so dificult to know who is ahead until they come off the turn. At least in the 400H you can do some evaluation as they go over the hurdles.
Let 'em blast for that pole after they come off the first turn and can cut in.... then for the rest of the race let e
'em fight for it ! Fantastic for the fans.
I've tossed this idea out many times, but the best thing (IMHO) would be to chuck the 400 and go with a 500. Start out of the blocks like the 100 guys, but with a slight bend, allowed to break for curve at the starting line, then two full curves of killer action.
With the added appeal of the 60-second barrier being a very real demarcation line for international-class running.
Gary, it ( 500 m. ) will never happen, and I think you know that. The good appeal of the 400 is, "first guy back wins." just like when we were kids running around the yard, or the courtyard in "Chariots of Fire."
It seems like every kid should want to participate on a relay. Sometimes they get nervous, but really, it's easier than being on your own in an individual event. It can never be all your fault in a relay.