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  • About Running Track Surfaces

    About Running Track Surfaces
    The making of running tracks matters--and thanks to new technologies, runners are breaking records because today's tracks help athletes go even faster. Well-manufactured running tracks, indoors or outdoors, focus on facilitating safety, comfort and performance.

    Paint

    Running tracks are most commonly spray painted. The number of paint coats applied to a track is important because too much paint can lead to cracking of the surface.

    Colors

    Governing bodies, such as USA Track and Field, and track manufacturers jointly decide on the track's colors. The colors of a school can be applied--such as for lines or inside the lanes--if a governing body allows it.

    Significance

    Running track surfaces, whether outdoor or indoor, should reduce pressure on an athlete's feet, absorb shock and be safe and comfortable for athletes to use.

    Mercury-Free Surfaces

    Today track surfaces are increasingly built without mercury, a neurotoxin that can have negative effects on the nervous system as well as on the development of fetuses and children.

    History

    In the past, running track surfaces were made from clay or dirt. Beginning in the 1950s, new technology --such as rubber--paved the path for more resilient, safer and faster tracks.

    Rubber

    Harder surfaces, such as the ones constructed of rubber for the Olympic Games, result in faster race times.

    Article Written By Maria Fernanda Cartaya

    Maria Fernanda began writing for publication in 2003. She has lived and experienced the outdoors in North and South America, Europe and Africa. Her work has been published in Spanish newspapers. She earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in international relations and French from Syracuse University and speaks three languages. Maria is working on an international journalism Master of Arts from the University of Westminster.

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