One of the most exciting new track events will be lateral running.
Seldom seen outside athletics or football training circles, lateral or
sideways running surprises with its combination of speed and grace.
The rhythmical action, which calls for a high level of
flexibility and coordination, is one of the most attractive and exciting to
watch, and this, coupled with its dramatic step-overs and bold shoulder
level arm extensions, sees it often described as running ballet.
Lateral or sideways running is one of a number of drills currently used by
athletes as a way of achieving muscle elasticity and joint mobility. In
competition, styles will vary depending on the length of lateral stride
favoured by the runner, but most will employ long sideways bounds with an
extended high step-over to gain maximum distance, coupled with a strong
swinging action of the leading arm which provides balance, rhythm, and
Runners must keep their bodies to the track, but a runner may turn and face
in or out depending on which leading leg he or she favors and, when this is
not a consideration, which position gives the best view of the other
Runners may switch sides by turning 180 degrees during the race provided
their bodies remain side-on with the track. Lateral running distances at the first Fringe
Games in Christchurch, New Zealand are likely to be the 100m, 200m, 400m &
800m. Qualifying times will be posted shortly.