A typical outdoor track is 400 metres in circumference, or a quarter of a mile. Consequently, 200 metres is half of a single lap.
The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), which establishes track dimensions for international and elite championships, stipulated that tracks must be 400 metres in circumference. Although most tracks do not intend to hold such contests and are not required to adhere to IAAF standards, the fundamental configuration of most tracks is 400 metres around. A common event in track and field, the 200-meter dash requires runners to combine endurance and speed while navigating a curve and a staggered start.