Why do athletes run around the track counter-clockwise?
There are lots of theories thrown around to define the reason why athletes always run around the track counter clockwise. Some say that it is related to the heart’s position. But it has been found that the closest explanation for this question is that the direction has been determined to better facilitate a right-handed runner.
In 1896, the First Modern Olympic Games was held in Athens, Greece. During this event the athletes were required to run clockwise during the track events. This was met with much complaint from the athletes. It was because of these complaints that the IOC then gathered in 1913 and set the current anti-clockwise rule.
Through various studies, physiologists have found that right-handed people tend to have more highly developed hand and leg muscles on their right hand side than the left. This gives them an advantage when running around a track counter-clockwise, because it allows for their more powerful leg to remain on the outside, helping with the turns.
Fun Fact: It has been found that if a person is blindfolded and told to walk forward a right-handed person will begin to lean towards the left and the left handed person towards the right.