Track season is upon us and you may be wondering how to freshen up and prep your outdoor track surface. Natural wear and tear is a part of having an outdoor running surface, but safety is a factor that should be assessed and maintained consistently.
Here are a few ways to keep your track safe and fresh for your runners and athletes…
Knowing the state of your track is essential to providing a safe and effective running surface. Cracks and tripping hazards are common imperfections that can lead to bigger, more expensive problems if they’re not addressed. Here are a few causes for track damage…
- Mowers clipping the track
- Runners wearing cleats on the track
- Gouges from snow removal
- Dragging equipment on the surface (benches, trash cans, etc.)
- Wearing down from starting blocks & starting positions
- Wind blowing equipment across track
- Normal wear and tear
If you do spot damage on your track, there are a few options you have that range in complexity depending on the severity of the imperfection.
Small Repair Options
- Spot patching for small cracks: replace rubber / latex surface
- Filling for depression areas: apply a mix of binder and rubber, trell fill to make an even and flush surface
- Cleaning: clear dirt, leaves, needles from surrounding trees with blower and power washing
- Lining: Freshen up track lining and numbers for big meets to make them pop so runners can easily identify exchange zones and meter marks
There are a few things you can do on your own to make sure your track stays fresh, safe, and well-maintained.
- Consistently identify trouble areas and inspect high traffic areas
- Frequently clear debris and dirt with a blower
- Anchor down items that can blow in windstorms (pole vault, trash cans, etc.)
- Post no skateboarding or bicycling signs
- Prevent athletes from wearing cleats on track surface
- Do not drag heavy equipment across track
- Public walkers/runners should use outer lanes to reduce inner lane wear