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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.
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.