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What is the Olympic steeplechase?

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As the 2024 U.S. Track and Field Trials get underway before the Paris Olympic Games, here’s an explanation of the steeplechase.

EUGENE, Ore. — The U.S. Track and Field Olympic Team Trials are taking place in Eugene, Oregon, through Sunday, June 30.

The Men’s 3000m Steeplechase Final was held Sunday with Kenneth Rooks and Matthew Wilkinson taking the top spots. The Women’s 3000m Steeplechase Final is scheduled for Thursday, June 27.

The 2024 Paris Olympics begin Friday, July 26, with the Opening Ceremony down the Seine River.

What is the steeplechase?

If you’re not impressed by the concept of just running around a track really fast a few times, then the steeplechase might be the event for you.

Steeplechase is 7.5 laps around a track for 3,000 meters. There are four 30-inch barriers that runners have to jump over throughout the track and then one water pit.

The first half of a lap of the steeplechase is a casual run, and the hurdles begin with seven laps to go. When runners reach the water, they fly through the air and attempt to clear the 10-foot water pit and land on the other side.

The runners keep running over the hurdles before crossing the water again, for a total of seven laps of this obstacle course. 

A 3,000-meter steeplechase has 28 barriers and seven water jumps in total.

University of Colorado Buffaloes legend Emma Coburn — who won a bronze medal in the 3,000 meter steeplechase at the 2016 Rio Olympics — shared a helpful tutorial in 2021 about how the event works. To really drive her point home, Coburn used Legos.

Coburn will miss the Olympic Trials this month, and a potential bid for a fourth Olympics, after breaking her right ankle in May in her first race of 2024.


SUGGESTED VIDEOS: Paris Olympic Games 2024

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=videoseries

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