How long have runners been using starting blocks in races?
When you have kids, you get the most unusual questions. My eight-year-old son asked me why runners start from a crouch, so I said it was to get their center of gravity out in front of their feet during acceleration, so their feet did not run out from under them. Then he asked why their feet don’t slip, so I mentioned the starting blocks. And he asked when did they start using them, which I don’t know but it seemed like an interesting question.
Did the advent of starting blocks cause an artificial jump in distance records? Was there any controversy involved–ruining the sport and all that? I never noticed, but they must pull them up after the race starts, before the second lap, don’t they? How are they attached to the track?