Running track

When we hear about an running track or athletics track, we immediately relate it to a running surface, which contains two parallel straight lines that are framed by two curves that have the same radius. We could not say that it has the exact shape of an oval, but they are quite similar. The running track is the ideal place to do 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, for example, the Olympic Games that are held every four years.

Running track

Related topics

Obstacle race, relay race, hurdle race, speed race

What is the running track?

The running track is an area in which athletics races are held. It is a track with a shape quite similar to an oval, red and delimited by white marks to separate the lanes.

Characteristics of an running track

The main characteristics that an running track must have are the following:


The origin of the running track arose along with the Olympic Games that were held in the ancient age in 776 B.C., when a cook named Koroibos won the stadium race, a 600-foot-long foot race. There are also literary and archeological reviews that tell us that the games existed in Olympia in the tenth or ninth century. a. C.


In 1849, the British army created a series of competitions for the London arsenal at Woolwich. In 1850 a silver bugle 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 of an running track are:

Dimensions and shape

The running track must have a length of not less than 4000 meters. With respect to the width that the track must have, it must not have a width less than 7.32 meters and must be bounded on the inside by a cord made of cement or wood with a width not exceeding 5 centimeters.

When the track is grass, the edges must be marked with flags placed at intervals of 5 meters. 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 these materials have a great capacity to absorb the force that is applied in each of the strides made by athletes, while facilitating the subsequent impulse of them. The material they are made of 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 such as the first layer, followed by an elastomer layer and finally, a granulated layer is applied to help prevent slipping.

How many lanes does an running track have?

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

Running track events

The races that take place in an running track are the following:

How to make one

The design of the track depends on the uses for which it is to be built. If it is to be designed exclusively for athletics, the “circular” track may be permanently installed. For a multipurpose track, it is possible to use detachable tracks or tracks with mechanical or hydraulic systems.

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

Written by Gabriela Briceño V.

How to cite this article?

Briceño V., Gabriela. (2019). Running track. Recovered on 5 December, 2022, de Euston96:

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