The 2018 Winter Olympics includes 102 medal events.
The Pyeongchang, South Korea Games, which run Feb 9-25, bring together the best winter athletes in the world to compete for medals in either team or individual sports. Running, unlike in the Summer Olympics, does not make any sort of appearance in the Winter Games. Cross-country running however has been proposed to the IOC as a winter sport, to no avail.
Though not running-specific, the following events are the top sports to watch if you’re a runner.
Can lightning run on ice?
The start of bobleigh is integral and that’s where a sprinter’s speed and power comes in handy. It should come as no suprise that many runners have made the transition to the ice from sprinting on rubber. Team Canada features a number of former runners – including three Olympians – turned bobsledders for this year’s edition of the Winter Games.
Cross-country skiing is a winter favourite among runners for cross-training purposes. Cardio, endurance and technique are all involved, it’s a full-body workout and the barriers of entry are rather limited.
Team Canada features a university cross-country running star on its ski team as Laval’s Anne-Marie Comeau qualified for Pyeongchang shortly after the fall cross-country running season concluded.
Biathlon is the combination of cross-country skiing and rifle shooting. Runners will likely enjoy biathlon for the same reasons as standalone cross-country skiing, but with the added element in the form of firing at targets. Plus, there’s a mass start, like a marathon, let alone any road race for that matter.
Short track speed skating
Think of short track speed skating like you would indoor track. Turns are tight, the field is bunched and the end result is unpredictable. The difference? Short track speeding skating takes place on a oval of 111m length while indoor track often takes place on a 200m, and banked, track.
Both sports also feature races over the same distance including the 1,500m.
Plus, did you know that Canadian Charles Hamelin is a runner?
Mass start speed skating
Road racing anyone? The 2018 Winter Olympics marks the first time that a mass start long-track speed skating event will be featured since 1932. The skaters often form a peloton for much of the race before a sprint goes down over the final couple of laps.
The event was trialed at the 2016 Youth Olympic Games before being added to the 2018 programme.
For the same reasons as the mass start speed skating event, runners can identify with ski cross as it features a mass start and elbows are thrown in the first few hundred metres.