Short Track Competitions are held on arena ice pads that vary in size. The skaters race on either a 111 metre track or a 100 metre track. The skaters compete in groups of 4 or 5 and results are primarily based on the skater’s placement in each race although most races also record the skaters times
Long Track Competitions are typically held on a 400 metre oval, although other sized ovals have been used to stage competitions. In the Mass Start format the skaters start and race together so that both placement in the race as well as the skater’s time for the distance skated are recorded. In the Olympic Style format the skaters compete in pairs, each skater racing in their own lane, switching from the inner to the outer lane as the race progressed so that at the end of each race the skater has a time for skating exactly the same distance.
Marathon speed skating takes place in a variety of locations and over a range of distances. The races courses are typically set out on lakes or canals so that the condition of the natural ice and the weather on the day of the event normally plays an important role in the challenge faced by the skaters. Marathons normally start with a mass start and skaters race a variety of distances over the same course.