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Racing

Offshore inflatable racing (Thundercat class) at Ilfracombe, north Devon, England.These boats can reach 60mph
Air racing:Hungarian aerobatics pilot Peter Besenyei at speed in his Extra 300 at an air race in England


A race is a competition of speed. The competitors in a race try to complete a given task in the shortest amount of time. Typically this involves traversing some distance, but it can be any other task involving speed.

A race to cover a certain distance may be any length, and using any means stipulated by the rules. Running a distance is the most basic form of racing, but races are often conducted in vehicles, such as boats and cars, on or with animals such as horses and in aircraft.

A race may be run continuously from start to finish or may be made of several segments called heats or stages. A heat is usually run over the same course at different times. A stage is a shorter section of a much longer course or a time trial.

Early records of races are evident on pottery from ancient Greece, which depicted running men vying for first place. A chariot race is described in Homer's Iliad.

List of types of race

Unassisted human racing

Using only the human body's own muscles:

Cycle racing

Bicycle racing:

Ski racing

Skiing with skis, on snow:

Animal racing

Animals alone, or with human riders on the animal's back or in a conveyance:

Aircraft racing

Motorized racing (motorsport)

Machines powered by motors, on land:

  • Auto racing (also known as automobile racing, motor racing or autosport)

Boat racing

Boats on water:

Other types

In virtual reality, or in a videogame:

Etymology

The word race comes from a Viking word. This Viking word arrived in France during the invading of Normandy and gave the word raz which means "swift water" in Brittany; it can be found in "Pointe du Raz" (the most western point of France, in Brittany), and "raz-de-marée" (tsunami).

A race and its name are often associated with the place of origin, the means of transport and the distance of the race. As a couple of examples, see the Paris-Dakar rally or the Athens marathon.