A sport race is a competition of speed, against an objective criterion, usually a clock or to a specific point. the competitors in a race try to complete a given task in the shortest amount of time. typically this involves traversing some distance, but it can be any other task involving speed to reach a specific goal. a race may be run continuously from start to finish or may be made of several segments called heats, stages or legs. a heat is usually run over the same course at different times.