Photo courtesy of Stephen G. Miller

The runner placed the toes of his lead foot in the front groove and the toes of his other foot in the back groove. The painting, a detail from a fourth-century B.C. krater in the Athens’s National Archaeological Museum, illustrates this stance. Also depicted on the vessel is a turning post. 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.