Running track


When we hear about a running track , immediately interact with a surface for running which contains two straight parallel which are framed by two curves with the same radius. We could not say that it has the exact shape of an oval but they are quite similar. The athletics track is the ideal place to perform a series of sports and to train , and it is the fundamental part of many of the sports disciplines that we can observe in important competitions , such as the Olympic Games. held every four years.


What is the running track?

The athletics track is an area in which the races of the athletics discipline take place . It is a track with a shape quite similar to an oval , red in color and delimited by white markings to separate the lanes.


Characteristics of a running track

The main features that should have a track athletics are as follows:

  • The number of lanes found within the athletics track varies, the most common being six to eight .
  • This type of track is recommended for specific jobs, such as series of high intensity , work rate , and exercise technique career .
  • The track will be made up of two parallel lines and two identical curves of equal radius.
  • The distance of the race is measured from the edge of the start line that is furthest from the finish line, to the edge of the finish line closest to the start.
  • The throwing areas of the athletics tracks have an impulse zone delimited by a circle made with an iron band , the diameter of which varies depending on the discipline.


The origin of the athletics track arose together with the Olympic Games that were held in ancient times in the year 776 BC. C. , when a cook named Koroibos , won the stadium race, a 600-foot-long foot race. There are also literary and archaeological reviews that indicate that the games existed in Olympia in the 10th or 9th century BC. C.


In the year 1849, the British Army created a series of competitions for the London Arsenal at Woolwich. In 1850 a silver cornet was offered as a prize to the winner and it was Captain Wilmot who won the 1850 edition , and that same year the first running track was created in England.


The parts that a running track has are:

  • Racing zone : a circular track with at least four lanes, the straight that has six lanes for hurdling races, and the start and finish zone .
  • The jumping area : this area includes the area to perform the long jump with the corridor and the landing pit, the installation for the triple jump , for the high jump and for the pole vault .
  • The competition area for launches : area that is used for carrying out the release disk of hammer , the javelin and weight .

Track Standard 400 – meter must have an area that is free of obstacles on the inside and measure at the least 1,00 m. wide and you should also take its part external another clearway also measured at the least 1.00 m. wide.

Dimensions and shape

The track must have a length of no less than 4000 meters.  Regarding the width that the track must have, it may not have a width that is less than 7.32 meters and it must be delimited on the inside by a cord made of cement or wood with a width that is not greater than 5 centimeters .

When the track is grass , the edges must be marked with flags placed at 5 meter intervals . For international competitions, the track must have at least six lifts and, if possible, eight.

Running track materials

Definitely the best tracks are those that are made of synthetic material , this because they have a great capacity to absorb the force that is applied in each of the strides that athletes make, at the same time that they facilitate the subsequent impulse of the same. Regarding the material of which they are composed, it must be placed on a very stable surface in order to minimize the risk of falls and injuries .

Some tracks are also made of asphalt as the first layer, followed by an elastomer layer and finally, a granulated layer is applied to help prevent slipping.

How many streets does a running track have

An athletics track must have eight lanes each measuring 1.22 meters wide. Generally, the first lane is the smallest , measuring 400 meters, and as we move away from the center, 7.5 meters in length are added to each lane.

Athletics track events

The races that take place on a running track are as follows:

  • Sprint races : where you run short distances ranging from 60, 100, 200 or 400 flat meters.
  • Hurdles races : in this race, fences or barriers are placed that must be jumped by the competitor.
  • Relay races: in which the competitors relieve each other in order to complete the course.
  • Obstacle courses : the distances that are run are 2,000 and 3,000 meters and the obstacles are fences and a 70 cm deep water moat.
  • Marching type race : usually 50 km for men and 20 km for women.
  • High jump: consists of jumping a bar by means of a vertical jump, preceded by an impulse race.

How to make a

The design of the track depends on the uses for which it will be built. If it is to be designed exclusively for athletics, the ” circle ” track may be permanently installed . For a multipurpose court you can use removable tracks or with mechanical or hydraulic systems.

The track will be installed in an area dedicated to athletics and if it is permanent it has the advantage that it can be placed on a solid base , the surface is normally concrete.

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