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# NoOval course

Sinestrack
 (+18, -2) [vote for, against]

Watching the Olympics today, (yay, go Canada!) I couldn't help but notice that every track event runs counter clockwise around an oval course.
This seems very biased to me and discriminates against left leg dominant atheletes. It also can't be good for their ligiments and tendons to be training asymetrically like that.

The simple fix to this would be figure eight tracks.
If a competetor falls far enough behind that they will collide with the leader/s at the junction then they are disqualified and must withdraw from the race.

"Back to you Jim."

 — 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Feb 13 2010

Solving the crossover issue... http://likecool.com...Lane-Scalextric.jpg
(Not to scale) [Jinbish, Feb 13 2010]

8 track +
 — xenzag, Feb 14 2010

I think that's an unfair penalty, after all it's only a half-lap behind. If something goes wrong for the leader, that distance can easily be overcome.
 — tatterdemalion, Feb 14 2010

OK, how about a standard oval course, the athletes on the starting line... and the signal to start sounds.... if it's a whistle, the race runs anticlockwise. If it's a bell, the race runs clockwise. No more of those cheaty starting-blocks!
 — pocmloc, Feb 14 2010

 — zeno, Feb 15 2010

 I think that just because Heracles was a righty doesn't mean that he wouldn't listen to reason.

Tradition needs to be reexamined if it inhibits human potential.
 — 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Feb 15 2010

 How about a figure 8 course, where the risk of crashing into a competitor at the intersection is simply something that each racer must take care not to do.

Unlike cars, humans are small enough and manouverable enough that we ought to be able to avoid collisions.
 — goldbb, Feb 15 2010

//able to avoid collisions// yahbut the racer that's half a track behind hasn't anything to lose in a crash with the leader(s).
 — FlyingToaster, Feb 15 2010

OK how about just an unmarked field or court; no starting line or gun. The athletes run about a bit for as long as they want; when they have all finished running they each get a medal. Could be televised etc. with commentary
 — pocmloc, Feb 15 2010

 Ha!Tthhhhhhhup Pdddddddddddddd...

Point goes to [bigsleep].
 — 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Feb 16 2010

:D
 — FlyingToaster, Feb 16 2010

[pocmloc] //...// : I remember seeing somewhere here on the halfbakery - I can't remember if it was an idea, or just annos, and it might have perished... but basically, an auto race in a big unmarked area; each car tracked by GPS; first one to have travelled the race's required distance is the winner.
 — lurch, Feb 16 2010

I did a lot of work building the speed skating oval in Vancouver, please don't ask me to do it again :)
 — Giblet, Feb 17 2010

Our gym, which has a banked track on a mezzanine level, just switches running direction on alternate days. That's a simple solution for any running track.
 — DrCurry, Feb 17 2010

Tough for midnight marathons
 — pocmloc, Feb 17 2010

Equip each athlete with a device that can act as a high accuracy odometer -- an advanced GPS with an odometer mode, or perhaps something like the Nike/Ipod gadget. Let them pick their starting places on a large unmarked field or court. The athletes start running when a gun is fired. The distance each athlete has traveled is continuously displayed for onlookers. The first athlete to achieve the target distance wins.
 — goldbb, Feb 17 2010

How about just a damn big circular field? All athletes start out dispersed around the perimeter and all run toward the middle. The one who runs across the center spot first is supposedly the winner. Actually, everybody collides in a great big pile.
 — baconbrain, Feb 18 2010

That's so cool [Giblet]. Looked like you did a fine job.
 — 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Feb 19 2010

I was watching biathlon and I noticed that the slot cars go over a little bridge after they shoot.
 — Cuit_au_Four, Feb 20 2010

 baconbrain, your idea has two big problems.

 First, the radius of the field needs to equal the length of the race, necessitating a very large field, if we're to have a long race. A one mile race would require a field that was two miles across.

And while some HBers like the idea of everyone colliding in a big pile, the athletes probably wouldn't -- they'd slow down as the approached the goal to avoid injury.
 — goldbb, Feb 22 2010

so have them race *from* not to, the middle. Question: are humans fast enough to run inside a vertical loop ?
 — FlyingToaster, Feb 22 2010

 //Question: are humans fast enough to run inside a vertical loop ?//

Depends on what drugs they took before coming to thy olympics... [+]
 — xxobot, Feb 24 2010

I hate following that last comment, but anyway...Every time I see this idea, women out there speak up, Don't you think Birth Control packaging?
 — blissmiss, Feb 24 2010

[goldbb] Lay out a tangential course from an annular inner radius to the outer radius. The inner radius is sized such the lanes are normal width and barely clear each other. The individual lanes leave this point tangentially and run towards the outer perimeter (would resemble a pinwheel, more or less). This should allow races in a noticeably smaller diameter than 2L. If you're willing to allow a slight curve, it gets even longer, but that defeats the original idea.
 — MechE, Feb 24 2010

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