A quarter mile is, by definition, a fourth of a mile. It is 1,320 feet or 402.3 meters. On a standard-sized Olympic track, it is a little more than a single lap.
The word mile comes from the Latin word "milia," meaning "a thousand," and the Romans used the term "mille passus" meaning "a thousand paces," where each pace equalled two steps. For a 5-foot-9-inch man with an average stride of 28.8 inches, a quarter mile would be a journey of 550 steps. At an average walking pace of 3.1 miles per hour, this would take four minutes and 50 seconds.