Running is a means of terrestrial locomotion allowing humans and other animals to move rapidly on foot. It is simply defined in athletics terms as a gait in which at regular points during the running cycle both feet are off the ground. This is in contrast to walking, where one foot is always in contact with the ground, the legs are kept mostly straight and the center of gravity vaults over the legs in an inverted pendulum fashion. A characteristic feature of a running body from the viewpoint of spring-mass mechanics is that changes in kinetic and potential energy within a stride occur simultaneously, with energy storage accomplished by springy tendons and passive muscle elasticity. The term running can refer to any of a variety of speeds ranging from jogging to sprinting.
The ancestors of mankind developed the ability to run for long distances about four and a half million years ago, probably in order to hunt animals. Competitive running grew out of religious festivals in various areas. Records of competitive racing date back to the Tailteann Games in Ireland in 1829 BCE, while the first recorded Olympic Games took place in 776 BCE.
Famous quotes containing the word running:
“People stress the violence. Thats the smallest part of it. Football is brutal only from a distance. In the middle of it theres a calm, a tranquility. The players accept pain. Theres a sense of order even at the end of a running play with bodies stewn everywhere. When the systems interlock, theres a satisfaction to the game that cant be duplicated. Theres a harmony.”
—Don Delillo (b. 1926)
“Every time I hear that word, I cringe. Fun! I think its disgusting; its just running around. Its not my idea of pleasure.”
—Vivienne Westwood (b. 1941)
“Tattoo-shops, consulates, grim head-scarfed wives;
And out beyond its mortgaged half-built edges
Fast-shadowed wheat-fields, running high as hedges,
Isolate villages, where removed lives
Loneliness clarifies. Here silence stands
Like heat. Here leaves unnoticed thicken,
Hidden weeds flower....”
—Philip Larkin (19221986)