For some athletics events you may not get a choice of seat location beyond a price category - for example when there is a ballot as in the 2012 Olympics or the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, or on certain online ticketing services. On the occasions when you can choose seat locations, where are the best seats?

There are many factors to take into account. Is it indoors or outdoors? Indoor arenas are much smaller - normally a 200m track with all the field events inside the track - so you can get a good view of most of the action. It's very different for the outdoors where it is a 400m track.

For track events, the home straight is closest to all the action. The short sprint events (100m, 100m and 110m hurdles) only use this part of the track. This means that home straight seats are generally the most expensive, and many of the seats are blocked for media, officials and VIPs. The curve nearest the finish line may be a good bet as you get a good view of the finish line, although too far round and you are looking head on so it can be difficult to see who is in front of who.

For field events, you can get an idea of where in the stadium these take place from the design of the field so you can select seats near your favourite events. These, however, may not be certain. Take the long/triple jump events for example - even when the runway is positioned alongside one of the straights, the direction of the pit often depends on wind direction on the day. This can also be true of some throwing events. All the throws and the high jump normally take place within the curve section of the track. The pole vault may be along one of the straights, or within a track curve.

How far back should you sit? The choice is being closer to the action (but at risk of officials or cameras getting in the way), or having a view of more action but from further away.

At the end of the day, wherever you sit you there is always something going on that will hold your attention - and when there is a track event and two or three field events taking place at the same time you will be spoilt for choice.

  • Where are the best seats? +

    For some athletics events you may not get a choice of seat location beyond a price category - for example when there is a ballot as in the 2012 Olympics or the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, or on certain online ticketing services.

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  • How do I keep track of the action? +

    With so much going on at any athletics events it can be difficult to stay on top of the action, but there are some steps you can take to stay ahead of the game.

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  • 100 metres +

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  • 200 metres +

    The 200 metres is a sprint event. On an outdoor 400m track, the race begins at the halfway point taking in the curve and the home straight, so a combination of techniques are needed to successfully run the race. A

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  • 400 metres +

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  • 800 metres +

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    The demands of the race are

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  • 5000 metres +

    The 5000 metres is the shorter of the two long distance track events held on the flat at major championships. It is the same distance as one of the more popular road or cross country events – the 5km. It is

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    The 100m hurdles is run by women (the male counterpart is the 110 metres hurdles). For the race ten hurdles of a height of 83.8 cm (2 feet 9 inches i.e. 23cm lower than for the men’s sprint hurdles) are placed evenly

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  • 110 metre hurdles +

    The 110 metres hurdles or sprint hurdles is a track event for men. The female counterpart is the 100 metres hurdles. As part of a racing event, ten hurdles of 1.067 metres (3.5 ft or 42 inches) in height are evenly spaced along

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  • 400 metre hurdles +

    The 400 metres hurdles is an Olympic athletics event in track and field. On a standard outdoor track 400 metres is one lap of the track. Runners stay in their lane the entire way after starting out of the blocks and

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  • 3000 metre steeplechase +

    The steeplechase is an obstacle race in athletics, which derives its name from the steeplechase in horse racing. The length of the race is usually 3000m; junior and some masters events are 2000m, as women's events formerly were. The circuit

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  • 4 x 100 metre relay +

    The 4 × 100 metres relay or sprint relay is an athletics track event run in lanes over one lap of the track with four runners completing 100 metres each. The first runners begin at the same stagger as for the individual 400 m race.

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  • 4 x 400m relay +

    Traditionally, the 4x400 metre relay finals are the last event of a track meet, and is often met with a very enthusiastic crowd, especially if the last leg is a close race. Each member of the 4-strong team runs one

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  • Marathon +

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  • Racewalking (20km and 50km) +

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  • Long Jump +

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  • Triple Jump +

    The triple jump (sometimes referred to as the hop, step and jump or the hop, skip and jump) is similar to the long jump, but involving a “hop, bound and jump” routine, whereby the competitor runs down the track and

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  • High Jump +

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  • Pole Vault +

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