The greatest thing about collegic track and field is the plethora of events from the Stepple Chase to the 4x100m relay. No matter what your body type, there is an event catered precisely to your physical configuration provided you have the patience to explore the sport until you find an event that best utilizes your assets to help you run, jump, sprint, throw, fly, or hurdle to your fullest.
When I first started running in high school I was hell bent on being the best 400m runner ever (I run a 52). Then I watched dozens of guys at Nationals finish with 48s. I was discouraged, but not tremendously because I found out that my tallents as a runner allowed me to perform better in other events like the 800m, the mile, the 5k, and the 8k. I have won fearcely competative 400m races by fractions of a second, because someone got shafted on lane assignment or had a rough step on the turn, and it winning felt great. But I have won 8ks against runners ranked much faster on the entry sheet, because the course was rougher, more hilly than ussual, the rain was pouring down, or because the heat was boiling us alive, and it was more meaningful to me breaking their spirit, passing them with a few meters to go, and winning knowing that I had won because I had more heart when the race was hell and it came down to who wanted it more.
Don’t get me wrong, I have friends that take only a SINGLE breath in the 60m dash because they think it will buy them a fraction of a second, friends that do a dozen block starts a day, and stride work all afternoon looking for that one perfect race when every single stride is perfect from start to finish. They are looking for that one perfect race when they just open up and fly.
Out fly in 200m or out will your opponent in 2000m makes no difference; what matters is finding the event that will drive you to your next level of competativeness with yourself to continually improve for the next race and the one after that until you find out just how fast you really can go, because when it is all said and done the only time you are training to beat is the one you ran in the previous race…