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What exactly is the steeplechase?

Bronze medal winner Emma Coburn explains how far the steeplechase is, what they jump over and how many times they run through water.
Credit: AP
Emma Coburn leaps over the water pit during the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase at the U.S. Championships athletics meet, Saturday, June 23, 2018, in Des Moines, Iowa.

TOKYO, Japan — If you’re not impressed by the concept of just running around a track really fast a few times, then the steeplechase might be the event for you.

University of Colorado Buffalos track standout Emma Coburn is attempting to earn a second Olympic medal in the 3,000 meter version of the event (she won bronze in the 2016 Rio games), and fellow Buff Valerie Constien is also making a bid for the podium during the finals on Wednesday morning (it's at 5 a.m. if you would like to watch). 

If you don’t understand the steeplechase (honestly, same), Coburn posted a very helpful tutorial about how the event works on her Instagram. To really drive her point home, she used Legos.

Watch her video below:

>>> Can't see the video? Click here

Here's a shorter explanation: it is 7.5 laps around for 3,000 meters, there are four 30-inch barriers that runners have to jump over throughout the track and then one water pit. 

The first half of a lap is just a casual run, and the hurdles begin with seven laps to go. When runners reach the water, they fly through the air and attempt to clear the 10-foot water pit and land on the other side. 

They keep running over the hurdles before crossing the water again, for a total of seven laps of this obstacle course. 

> The video above is from a previous 9NEWS interview with Emma Coburn. 

RELATED: These TikToks from Colorado athletes give us a glimpse at what it's like to be an Olympian

RELATED: Colorado's Coburn, Constien qualify for Tokyo Olympics

In Coburn's video, her Lego person wins (obviously), hugs her competitors and then celebrates. 

"Then you go to drug-testing," Coburn joked at the end of the video. 

If you don't understand steeplechase, it appears a fellow Colorado Olympian also appreciated the explanation. 

Mikaela Shiffrin, who competes in the Winter Games and is really good at it, commented, "well this is wonderful." 

Good luck in the steeplechase, Emma and Valarie! Colorado is rooting for you! 

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