Why Do Races Run Counterclockwise?

Ever wondered why athletes in track and field competitions always seem to run in a counterclockwise direction? This tradition, rooted in history and science, continues to influence modern athletic events. In this article, we'll dive into the reasons behind this phenomenon and how advancements like racing clocks are enhancing the experience for runners and spectators alike. Our goal is to not only educate you about this curious aspect of sports but also to introduce you to the cutting-edge tools that make racing more precise and exciting.

The Historical Perspective

The tradition of running counterclockwise has origins that date back to ancient times. Historical accounts suggest that in ancient Greece, the direction of race running was influenced by the same rotational direction as the sun across the sky in the northern hemisphere. This cultural and astronomical alignment gave birth to a tradition that has been passed down through generations and remains prevalent in track and field competitions around the world.

The Scientific Angle

But it's not just tradition that has dictated the direction of races. Science offers insights into why running counterclockwise might be beneficial for athletes. The human body's asymmetry means that our left leg is slightly stronger and longer than the right for many people, potentially giving runners an advantage in leftward turns. Moreover, the counterclockwise direction can help athletes better maintain balance and speed through the centrifugal force generated on left-hand turns.

Modern Racing and Technology

In today's world, where precision and timing are key, the role of technology in racing cannot be overstated. Racing clocks, for instance, have revolutionized how race times are measured and displayed, offering accuracy down to the millisecond. This precision is crucial, not only for the fair determination of winners but also for athletes aiming to break records or achieve personal bests.

Enhancing Your Race with Running Clocks

At Running Clocks, we offer a range of high-quality racing clocks that cater to different needs and budgets. Whether you're organizing a small local event or a large-scale professional race, our clocks provide the reliability and precision you need:

  • 6 Digit 9 Inch Racing Clock Bundle: Perfect for large events, offering clear visibility from a distance. Learn more.
  • 6 Digit 6 Inch Racing Clock Bundle: Ideal for smaller venues, combining compact size with accuracy. Learn more.
  • Double-Sided Racing Clock: Offers versatility and visibility from both sides, making it a top choice for cross-country or marathon events. Learn more.


The tradition of running races counterclockwise is a fascinating blend of history, science, and culture. As we continue to celebrate this tradition, it's essential to leverage modern technology to enhance the experience for everyone involved. Running Clocks is dedicated to providing top-of-the-line racing clocks and accessories that meet the needs of today's athletes and race organizers. Visit our website to discover how our products can elevate your next race.