This problem can be solved by using a factorial. Factorials help you find permutation – all the ways an event might turn out. Factorials are calculated by finding the product of a whole number and all the whole numbers less than that number. \(8 !=8 \times 7 \times 6 \times 5 \times 4 \times 3 \times 2 \times 1=40,320\). Therefore, there are 40,320 possible ways the eight runners could finish the race.