If you're a casual track and field fan, you've probably heard of the 4x100 and 4x400 meter relays and can likely deduce how they are run from the names of the events alone. However, those are not the only relays in track and field.
The distance medley relay — often referred to as the DMR for short — is another relay event at track and field meets. But unlike its counterparts with the distance run in the name, the DMR is less self-explanatory. Here's what you need to know about this event.
What is the distance medley relay?
The distance medley relay is a track and field event in which four athletes run as part of a relay team. In DMR, each leg of the relay runs a different distance.
What are the distances of the distance medley relay?
Here are the distances for the four legs of the distance medley relay:
- First leg - 1200 meters
- Six laps on a standard indoor track, three laps on a standard outdoor track
- Second leg - 400 meters
- Two laps on a standard indoor track, one lap on a standard outdoor track
- Third leg - 800 meters
- Four laps on a standard indoor track, two laps on a standard outdoor track
- Fourth leg - 1600 meters
- Eight laps on a standard indoor track, four laps on a standard outdoor track
In total, the distance run by a DMR relay team is 4000 meters or about 2.5 miles.
When is the distance medley relay run?
The distance medley relay can be run at any track meet if listed on the schedule. However, the DMR is a non-standard event outdoors, only found during the indoor season at the NCAA championship meets.
What makes the distance medley relay unique?
The distance medley relay is the only NCAA championship relay event where every leg is a different distance. The versatility of the legs gives mid-distance and distance runners a chance to run relays, an opportunity not afforded in the 4x100 meter and 4x400 meter relays.