How to Run a 4 X 100 Relay


The 4 x 100-meter relay -- also known simply as the "4 x 1" -- is a sprint event in which four members of each team runs a 100-meter leg. The 4 x 100-meter relay is commonly run at all track and field levels, from youth through professional. It's typically the last event in major meets such as the Olympics and the World Championships.

Things You'll Need

  • Baton

First Runner

  • Position your feet in the starting blocks. Hold the baton in your right hand, whether you're right- or left-handed.

  • Run out of the blocks when the starting signal is given. Run as fast as possible while remaining in your lane.

  • Place the baton into the palm of the second runner, within the 20-meter exchange zone.

Second, Third and Fourth Runners

  • Stand about 10 meters in front of the exchange zone at the start of the race.

  • Run forward when your teammate approaches with the baton.

  • Extend one arm backward, with your palm up, when you're about midway through the exchange zone, then grasp the baton when the previous runner places it in your hand. The second and fourth runners receive the baton with their left hands. The third runner receives the baton in the right hand.

  • Sprint at top speed within your lane until it's time to pass the baton to your teammate within the next exchange zone. If you're the fourth runner, sprint to the finish line.

Tips & Warnings

  • The runner receiving the baton should be moving as close to top speed as possible when the baton is passed.
  • Don't turn around to watch the baton being passed to you -- doing so will slow your momentum.
  • Unlike the 4 x 400-meter relay, each team must remain in its lane for the entire race.
  • Practice baton exchanges regularly. If you drop the baton during a race you're permitted to retrieve it, but you'll lose precious time that you don't have in a very short race.
  • The baton must be passed while it's within the 20-meter exchange zone, or the team is disqualified.

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  • Photo Credit Stu Forster/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
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