A standard outdoor track is 400 meters for one lap. That is slightly less than 440 yards, or 1/4 mile.
During competitions, different distances are raced. Some are shorter than 400 meters (less than 1 lap). Some are over 400 meters (more than one lap). Some are 400 meters. A 100 meter sprint uses one straightaway, with an extension. Runners in a 3200 meter race would each go around 8 laps.
For safety, runners in shorter events have to stay in the lanes they were in at the start. If the race includes a curve, this results in a staggered starts: The runners in the inside lanes appear to start farther back than the runners in the outside lanes. But, this is because runners in outside lanes have to run farther when going through a curve.
If all runners in a staggered start race ran at identical pace, the runner closest to the outside would appear to be in first place, the runner in the next outside would appear to be in second place, and so on. The runner in the inside lane would appear to be in last place. But, as the runners go through the curves, the distance between them would get smaller. As runners exit the last curve and go into the last straightaway, they would be even.
The two most common relay events are 4 x 100 and 4 x 400. In the first, 4 runners each run 100 meters. In the second, 4 runners each run 400 meters.