Photo courtesy of Stephen G. Miller

Straddling the stone starting line at Nemea’s stadium, three men demonstrate how ancient runners began a race. Almost 2 feet wide, with grooves cut into the stone, the starting line is located at the southern end of the track. The runner placed the toes of his lead foot in the front groove and the toes of his other foot in the back groove. At Nemea, a vertical post like this one was set some 17 feet in front of the starting line and was used for long-distance races; the athletes ran up and down the track, turning around the post.