Head-stabilized video of a hurdler (SLYT)
November 16, 2020 9:43 PM   Subscribe

 
Wow, he's just regular running, except sometimes he picks up his legs for a minute and then puts them back down again when the hurdle's out of the way.
posted by aubilenon at 9:54 PM on November 16 [10 favorites]


I suspect that is a trick of the stabilization -- it's not just focused on his head center of frame, but actually adjusted frame by frame so his head stays still while the background and the hurdles move. That said, I am clearly too short to pull off anything near that efficient.
posted by pwnguin at 10:02 PM on November 16


I have so much respect for these people who train so long for events that take seconds. It's that Merce Cunningham(?) "we do this exercise one time because on stage you only get one shot" attitude, which I sorely lack.

I did some light reading about hurdling (ok, this article), and it seems like you do want to stay as flat as possible because flat is efficient -- I guess this is the Viennese Waltz (where you take fast small steps and don't pop up or down) whereas (slow) Waltz is all about glide and rise and fall.

Do hurdlers train both legs to lead / trail?
posted by batter_my_heart at 10:31 PM on November 16 [1 favorite]


Do hurdlers train both legs to lead / trail?

It's been 25 years, but I am pretty sure not. The length of stride between each hurdle is important to ensure you are always hitting the hurdle with the same leg at the same distance.

Also what I find most interesting about this is how little it seems to be stabilized.
posted by Literaryhero at 4:01 AM on November 17 [6 favorites]


That moves a lot less than I expected - he's already doing 95% of the stabilizing just from his technique.

I'd like to see the same shot non-stabilized side-by-side.
posted by Paladin1138 at 4:19 AM on November 17 [5 favorites]


He did not even blink.
posted by superelastic at 4:35 AM on November 17 [3 favorites]


I'm pretty sure that the most sarcastic person on my Facebook feed will soon be using that stabilized shot as a reaction GIF and I'll have no idea what he means by it.
posted by clawsoon at 5:25 AM on November 17 [11 favorites]


I just watched that race. Second place. Running that race in 13 seconds flat to the hundredth of a second - and not winning. What an event! Holloway's form in this race is a clinic.
posted by meinvt at 6:20 AM on November 17


But the guy next to him knocked down three hurdles, don't you get penalized for that? WTF.
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:26 AM on November 17


Right he's doing most of the stabilization. I'd like put the camera on his head and watch the view hardly move.
posted by SaltySalticid at 6:27 AM on November 17 [2 favorites]


It looked unreal enough (and unpossible) in the unstabilized race. The FLOATING HEAD OF GRANT HOLLOWAY looks like something drawn by Fletcher Hanks
posted by chavenet at 6:32 AM on November 17 [1 favorite]


seanmpuckett - the penalty is that all the energy went to knocking down the hurdle instead of moving you forward. In a race that came down to 0.02 seconds, that is more than penalty enough. So long as you aren't knocking hurdles out of your lane it is on you how you clear them.
posted by meinvt at 6:36 AM on November 17


What does this mean? They altered the video?
posted by tiny frying pan at 7:39 AM on November 17


When I ran hurdles a million years ago in HS, the rule was as long as your front leg cleared the hurdle, you were OK. You could clip and pull down every single one with your trailing leg. (Not that you'd want to, as I imagine it would throw you off.) Not sure if that's changed.
posted by martin q blank at 7:39 AM on November 17 [1 favorite]


Pffft. Horses don't get away with knocking down hurdles, I don't see why people should. Git gud, scrub.
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:43 AM on November 17 [2 favorites]


Tiny frying pan, video stabilization means that someone used computer software to select a feature in the image (in this case, the runner’s head), zoom in on that region of the video, and move each frame around so that the selected point remains static relative to the frame. This technique can be used to minimize camera shake, for instance, but here is used to show just how little the runner’s head is moving left/right/up/down as he runs the race.
posted by Alterscape at 7:55 AM on November 17 [2 favorites]


Thank you! I am amazed at the technology.
posted by tiny frying pan at 8:00 AM on November 17


When I ran hurdles a million years ago in HS, the rule was as long as your front leg cleared the hurdle, you were OK. You could clip and pull down every single one with your trailing leg. (Not that you'd want to, as I imagine it would throw you off.) Not sure if that's changed.

I don't even think that is a rule. If one ran track in Jr high and high school, you've seen more then one person try to jump the high hurdle, eat it, and then walk the rest of the way to finish, knocking them down with their hands.
posted by The_Vegetables at 8:01 AM on November 17


Sorry forgot to add: If you were also at a small enough meet, then that person's time counted, and might have ribboned if it was the finals.
posted by The_Vegetables at 8:02 AM on November 17 [3 favorites]


I don't even think that is a rule.

Wow, you're right. I just looked the US amateur athletics rules, and it says you can clear the hurdles any way you want, as long as (in the judge's opinion) you're not deliberately knocking them down.

The only rule on clearing them is that you can't have your foot pass to the left or right of the hurdle, below its plane.

Stupid HS coach. If I'd known that I'd have (gracefully) run right through them!
posted by martin q blank at 8:16 AM on November 17 [1 favorite]


using that stabilized shot as a reaction GIF

If it's not already the core of three or more posts to b3ta, I'll be very, very disappointed. I got a major Rotate Your Owl energy from the video.
posted by scruss at 9:05 AM on November 17 [6 favorites]


The commentator in the second video notes that Holloway broke the record set by Renaldo Nehemiah 40 years earlier.

I recall watching Nehemiah playing as a wide receiver on the San Francisco 49ers football team during their 1980's heyday. Nehemiah's main job was to outrun the other team's defense to try for long passes; this strategy generated mixed results, but he did win a Super Bowl ring with the 49ers in 1985.
posted by JDC8 at 9:19 AM on November 17


I just watched that race. Second place. Running that race in 13 seconds flat to the hundredth of a second - and not winning. What an event! Holloway's form in this race is a clinic.

What do you mean, second place ? Holloway won the race ?
posted by Pendragon at 9:33 AM on November 17


Second place ran a race that was amazing on its own but not compared to Holloway.

I wonder if the presence of either of them improved the other’s time.
posted by clew at 9:52 AM on November 17


Total sidebar, but fun:

From the wikipedia article on Skeets Nehemiah (which is well worth reading if you like awesomeness):
Nehemiah was deemed expendable in 1985 when the 49ers drafted Jerry Rice in the first round
If someone is going to render one "expendable," it may as well be Jerry Freaking Rice.

Also:
Nehemiah was the only four-time winner of The Superstars, a made-for-television decathlon-style competition broadcast by ABC Sports
I admire this.
posted by Caxton1476 at 10:07 AM on November 17 [1 favorite]


Do hurdlers train both legs to lead / trail?

It's been 25 years, but I am pretty sure not. The length of stride between each hurdle is important to ensure you are always hitting the hurdle with the same leg at the same distance.

At 100m maybe, but at 400m they absolutely do train to lead with either leg. Stride patterns are different for each athlete and can include an odd number of strides between hurdles, which obviously then leads to jumping with different legs.

Athletes who aren't running well will sometimes work to change their stride pattern, to see if that helps. And of course as you move from your teens into your twenties and (hopefully) towards your physical peak, you get stronger, so your stride length and turnover can change, which can affect your stride pattern. If you could only jump with one lead leg, you'd be at a serious disadvantage as your options for changing your stride pattern would be halved.

For example, look at this list of stride patterns in various world class races - there's a lot of odd numbers in there. You'll also see that there are a lot of different numbers even for the same athlete through the course of a race, depending on whether they're on the straight or bend, and what stage of the race they're at, etc.

That same link, if you scroll down, has some discussion on whether you're better to jump 'ambidextrously' (ambipedally?) or not, saying it's a balance between having the flexibility to change your stride rate, and the fact that most people have a better leg and if you jump with both, at some point you'll be using your poorer leg.
posted by penguin pie at 10:45 AM on November 17 [4 favorites]


Nehemiah was the only four-time winner of The Superstars, a made-for-television decathlon-style competition broadcast by ABC Sports

I admire this.
My memory is that Track & Field guys just crushed the guys from normal sports like football and baseball. I think one year the guy who won was a javelin thrower!
posted by Lame_username at 11:39 AM on November 17


'ambidextrously' (ambipedally?)

I think it's just ambidextrously, since ambi- means 'both' and dexter means 'right' (as opposed to sinister, which means 'left'). Latin etymology derail complete.
posted by axiom at 1:13 PM on November 17 [1 favorite]


I'd love to see the same angle without stabilization because he clearly provides his own stabilization and looks to be uncommonly efficient. It's beautiful to watch, and inspires huge respect.
posted by theora55 at 3:18 PM on November 17 [1 favorite]




Metafilter: the never-ending questions about stride pattern in the 400m hurdles.
posted by away for regrooving at 1:56 AM on November 18 [1 favorite]


I don't know who Grant Holloway is and am only dimly aware that being a hurdler is a thing, but that is a very cool slash unsettling clip.
posted by doctornemo at 6:44 AM on November 18


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