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Run­ning is a method of ter­res­tri­al loco­mo­tion allow­ing humans and oth­er ani­mals to move rapid­ly on foot. Run­ning is a type of gait char­ac­ter­ized by an aer­i­al phase in which all feet are above the ground (though there are excep­tions). This is in con­trast to walk­ing, where one foot is always in con­tact with the ground, the legs are kept most­ly straight and the cen­ter of grav­i­ty vaults over the stance leg or legs in an invert­ed pen­du­lum fash­ion. A char­ac­ter­is­tic fea­ture of a run­ning body from the view­point of spring-mass mechan­ics is that changes in kinet­ic and poten­tial ener­gy with­in a stride occur simul­ta­ne­ous­ly, with ener­gy stor­age accom­plished by springy ten­dons and pas­sive mus­cle elas­tic­i­ty. The term run­ning can refer to any of a vari­ety of speeds rang­ing from jog­ging to sprint­ing. It is assumed that the ances­tors of mankind devel­oped the abil­i­ty to run for long dis­tances about 2.6 mil­lion years ago, prob­a­bly in order to hunt ani­mals. Com­pet­i­tive run­ning grew out of reli­gious fes­ti­vals in var­i­ous areas. Records of com­pet­i­tive rac­ing date back to the Tail­teann Games in Ire­land in 1829 BCE, while the first record­ed Olympic Games took place in 776 BCE. Run­ning has been described as the world’s most acces­si­ble sport.