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Records Fell at the Track Worlds. A Trend? Not So Fast.

The highlight of the track and field world championships, which wrapped up in Eugene, Ore., on Sunday, was undoubtedly Sydney McLaughlin’s shattering her own world record, and the rest of the field, in the 400-meter hurdles. It was a record set in dominant fashion, the type of performance fans watch sports for but rarely actually get to see.

World-class runners compete on two different planes simultaneously. They are trying to beat one another, but they are also chasing ghosts and trying to run faster than anyone ever has before.

We are in what some have referred to as a golden age of people running fast, with records across the spectrum being broken, and more people than ever — from elite professionals down to high schoolers — running times that would have previously been unheard-of.