Organized athletics can be traced back to the Ancient Olympic Games from 776 BC. The sport is essentially a collection of events that involves running, jumping, throwing and walking and currently forms the backbone of the Summer Olympics. The most common types of athletic meetings are track and field, which includes shorter sprint races, middle distance races and longer distance races of which the 10,000m is an example. These are the track events, while field events include long jump, high jump, javelin throw, discuss throw, hammer throw and shotput. Track and field are always performed within indoor or outdoor stadiums making it possible for spectators to view every event. Track also takes on a different format in cross-country races and road running. Cross-country races generally are only performed on grassy tracks and across fields over a certain number of laps making it accessible for spectators to view the runners from designated areas. Road running forms a major part of athletics and features in almost every country where main cities often host races starting at 10km up to marathons. Marathons are also categorized to an elite status. The London Marathon or New York Marathon are examples.
Looking at the history after the boom in participation sports of the 1800s, the International Amateur Athletics Federation was founded in 1912 by 17 other national athletic federations. It was through television coverage from the 1960s onward that organizers began to see the great commercial value in the sport, leading to a further rise in popularity among many more nations. This led to changes made by the IAAF that would bring much greater benefit to the athlete. By 1982 the IAAF moved away from the concept of amateurism and three years later adopted trust funds for athletes. This paved the way for the emergence of higher performances and very talented athletes through financial incentives in races. Prize money was offered for the first time in 1997. The Olympic Games have always been the main event for athletes to participate at, but through the IAAF expansion programme, there are now several World Athletics Series events. These are the World Championships, World Indoor Championships, World Junior Championships, Continental Cup, World Cross-Country Championships, World Race Walking Team Championships, World Half Marathon Championships and World Relays. The move to professionalism in athletics, led to a name change to the World Athletics. Their headquarters are based in Monaco.