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  • It's the track!

    All the hoopla has been about the SHOES, but I suspect that the best tracks today give AT LEAST as much advantage as the shoes. Sydney and Karsten SMASHED WRs on the Tokyo track and Syd even said it was like running on a trampoline.

    Now I read this from Edwin Moses:

    The track has been completely changed around as well, these tracks would have been illegal when I was running.
    Is that true? At the time, the 1991 Tokyo track was considered the best that could be, topping out the 'bouncing ball' test. But the 2021 Tokyo track seemed MUCH better. Did the rules changed?

  • #2
    I wonder if it's just because one track is newer than another. What's the shelf life of a track? The local one around here was nice and bouncy when it was new but now it's fairly hard, probably because of the winters, usage etc. I noticed in the Euro meets when they showed closeups of the tracks the lines and lettering looked a little flaked and worn down. Also isn't the Eugene track new and there have been some fast times run there.
    I'm the best poster. Just ask me.

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    • #3
      I hate to take credit away from the athletes... there have always technological improvements(equipment or athletic wear) that aided performances. This happens in all sports.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by beebee View Post
        I hate to take credit away from the athletes... there have always technological improvements(equipment or athletic wear) that aided performances. This happens in all sports.
        The standings probably are the same, but the times sure ain't.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Atticus View Post
          All the hoopla has been about the SHOES, but I suspect that the best tracks today give AT LEAST as much advantage as the shoes. Sydney and Karsten SMASHED WRs on the Tokyo track and Syd even said it was like running on a trampoline.

          Now I read this from Edwin Moses:



          Is that true? At the time, the 1991 Tokyo track was considered the best that could be, topping out the 'bouncing ball' test. But the 2021 Tokyo track seemed MUCH better. Did the rules changed?
          I don't know if the rules changed. But several runners who ran in the Tokyo Olympics said that the Tokyo track was unusually springy. And I haven't heard any runners say that about any of the other brand new tracks anywhere in the world, including the new track at Hayward Field.

          I think there was something usual about the Tokyo track that went beyond it just being new.

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          • #6
            This has already been discussed elsewhere. And, as much as Moses is the GOAT, in watching him on some vids when KW broke the WR he seems really salty. There is a lot of marketing hype and little science to think that 'it's the track.' Feeling bouncy or springy means nothing in actual enhanced performance. I think these details were in other threads on here so I'm not going to go back over it.

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            • #7
              I don't know how to quantify it but I posit, from observation and experience, that the worst synthetic track ever built is faster than the best cinder track that ever existed.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by lonewolf View Post
                I don't know how to quantify it but I posit, from observation and experience, that the worst synthetic track ever built is faster than the best cinder track that ever existed.
                Which makes me wonder how much faster Bob Hayes (who ran 9.94/+5.3 and 10.06/+1.5 in Tokyo 1964) would have run, had he continued his career into Mexico City 1968...

                ...To say nothing of what Wilma Rudolph would have done (sub-11.00?), had she gone another 8 years.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by proofs in the pudd'in View Post
                  This has already been discussed elsewhere. And, as much as Moses is the GOAT, in watching him on some vids when KW broke the WR he seems really salty. There is a lot of marketing hype and little science to think that 'it's the track.' Feeling bouncy or springy means nothing in actual enhanced performance. I think these details were in other threads on here so I'm not going to go back over it.
                  Springiness can be a double-edged sword. At issue would be "how quickly" the spring is returned, particularly for the sprint events. What feels springy while walking, might be a bit spongy while running at top speed.

                  But this statement is based on a simple gedanken experiment, and is in no way meant to contradict Sydney.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by KevinR View Post
                    Springiness can be a double-edged sword. At issue would be "how quickly" the spring is returned, particularly for the sprint events. What feels springy while walking, might be a bit spongy while running at top speed.
                    But this statement is based on a simple gedanken experiment, and is in no way meant to contradict Sydney.
                    Sure is a coincidence that the 400H, which greatly benefits form longer strides (allowing athletes fewer between hurdles, which is the Holy Grail of 400Hurdling) was THE event of the the Tokyo games, men and women. I trust Syd's 'impression' that the track was by far the fastest she had ever run on.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Atticus View Post
                      Sure is a coincidence that the 400H, which greatly benefits form longer strides (allowing athletes fewer between hurdles, which is the Holy Grail of 400Hurdling) was THE event of the the Tokyo games, men and women. I trust Syd's 'impression' that the track was by far the fastest she had ever run on.
                      Look, if you are going to insist to carry the argument based on technical expertise, rather than my decades old Physics education, we have little to discuss.

                      Yet, we will continue to post anyway........

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by KevinR View Post
                        Look, if you are going to insist to carry the argument based on technical expertise, rather than my decades old Physics education, we have little to discuss.
                        Oh, but your decades old Physics education DOES inform you about the advantages of energy return in a running surface! Trust your weird 8th Grade Physical Science teacher!

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                        • #13
                          There are thousands of high school (and college/Jr College) tracks which are not as fast as some of the best, well-prepared tracks in right ocnditions (not Rome)

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by 26mi235 View Post
                            There are thousands of high school (and college/Jr College) tracks which are not as fast as some of the best, well-prepared tracks in right ocnditions (not Rome)
                            Isn't that intuitively obvious to the most casual observer? All of the best anything are better than the rest.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Atticus View Post
                              Isn't that intuitively obvious to the most casual observer? All of the best anything are better than the rest.
                              No, it wasn't obvious from the statement. And, in fact, my comments goes directly to the quote below.

                              I don't know how to quantify it but I posit, from observation and experience, that the worst synthetic track ever built is faster than the best cinder track that ever existed.

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