In a 200 m race, the runner who finished first was ahead of the 2nd runner by 40 m and ahead of the 3rd runner by 80 m.

What was the distance (in meters) between the 2nd runner and the 3rd runner when the 2nd runner reached the finish line ?

It is assumed that the three runners maintain their (constant) speeds throughout the race.

The answer is 50.

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When #1 finished 200 m, #2 had finished 160 m, and #3 had finished 120 m.

Here is a table of values that shows where the last two runners from the

startline are at different key points in time.#2#3Because it is given that the two runners run at a constant rate, and that they both start at the start line (nobody has a head start), the distances of the two runners must be proportionate. Using this, let's solve for x.

$\dfrac{x}{200 \text{ m}}=\dfrac{120 \text{ m}}{160 \text{ m}}$ $x=\dfrac{200 \text{ m} \times 120}{160}$ $x=150 \text{ m}$

Thus, when #2 crosses the finish line, #3 is 150 m away from the start line, and $\boxed{\text{50 m}}$ away from the finish line.