a running start

a running start

1. Literally, in sports, a start to a race in which one is already at full speed by the time one reaches the starting line. To make things more fair, we're going to give your little sister a running start.
2. By extension, an initial advantage, benefit or auspicious position at the beginning or outset of some action, endeavor, or undertaking. John's company's been given a bit of a running start since his father decided to invest so much money into it. I'm glad I kept up with my studies over the summer because I'll to be off to a running start when school starts back up.
See also: running, start

running start

An initial advantage, as in His background in biochemistry gave him a running start in the field of genetics. This expression alludes to track events such as the running broad jump, in which one begins moving before reaching the actual take-off point. [1920s] Also see under get off the ground.
See also: running, start
References in classic literature ?
Taking a running start, his nimble legs carried him easily over and balanced neatly upon the end of the broad log.
Going back twenty paces, he took a running start, and at the edge of the well, leaped upward and outward in an attempt to gain the opposite side.
If he could reach the bottom and cover half the distance to the tree that stood in the center of the gulch he would feel comparatively safe for then, even if Numa appeared, he felt that he could beat him either to the cliff or to the tree, but to scale the first thirty feet of the cliff rapidly enough to elude the leaping beast would require a running start of at least twenty feet as there were no very good hand- or footholds close to the bottom--he had had to run up the first twenty feet like a squirrel running up a tree that other time he had beaten an infuriated Numa to it.