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The relay race is a type of foot race in which athletes compete as a team, rather than individually. The two most common relay races in athletics are the 4 x 100 m and 4 x 400 m races, in which four athletes run 100 m and 400 m respectively. A less common relay is the sprint medley relay, which usually consists of a four-legged race over distances of 400, 200, 200, and 800 meters. The last event added to the athletics program is the mixed 4x400m (2 men, 2 women).

The main aspect of a relay race is the baton. The first runner of each team starts the race with a witness. After the first runner completes his portion of the race, the baton must be passed to the next runner on the team. This continues until the final runner finishes the race with the baton in hand.

During each exchange, the athlete receiving the baton may be in motion before receiving the baton, but may not advance more than 10m without the baton. If either athlete drops the baton or the runner exceeds the 10m limit, the team will be disqualified.

For the 100m of each relay, the runners must stay in their lane throughout the race, while for the 400m race, the first runner stays in his lane, the second runner moves to the inside lanes after running his first curve.

The relay race is part of the athletics events and takes place during the Olympic Games and the World Championships.