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What is the best track surface?

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  • What is the best track surface?

    Tennessee is going to resurface their track, which made me wonder what the current surface is and what the new surface will be.

    Can anybody comment on the plusses and minuses of the various surfaces? Seems like Mondo has a reputation of being too hard on distance runners but good for sprinters. Rekortan and Beynon seem similar and are probably more springy. If you had to choose a surface, which would you choose?

    In the SEC I was able to identify 11 of the 12 surfaces from media guides, internet sites. I saw Mondo (Arkansas, Ole Miss, Florida, Vandy), Rekortan (Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia), Beynon aka Martin Surfacing (LSU, Auburn), Sika Bram (Miss. State), and Erotan (S. Carolina). Kentucky has mystery surface.

  • #2
    It all depends on what you want it for. The harder the faster, but the 'worse' it is to train on, day in and day out.

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    • #3
      Mondo at a level of 11 I believe.
      Polytan installed a track here in Toronto that Bolt ran on, the hype was that it was super fast but I saw nothing amazing with the exceptional of one meet that produced pretty good results.

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      • #4
        One could argue forever about what surface is best. Mondo has been doing all the Olympic sites for quite a while now, and it definitely gets lots of free publicity from broadcast commentators who have bought the sales pitch and have become convinced that it's the fastest.

        They (Lewis & Dwight) even thought last week that Rome had Mondo and kept saying so, but it was obvious from the video that the track was a poured surface, definitely not Mondo mats.

        Oregon has always (since 1970) had poured polyurethane; they installed "Beynon BSS 2000 embedded" in late 2007; see
        http://www.trackandfieldnews.com/displa ... p?id=15683

        Even though Oregon coaches definitely want a surface that is good not only for competition but also for distance training, legal 9.77 and 19.86 were run on it last year. Is that fast? :roll:

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        • #5
          downhill.

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          • #6
            and short.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by track_expert
              Mondo at a level of 11 I believe.
              Polytan installed a track here in Toronto that Bolt ran on, the hype was that it was super fast but I saw nothing amazing with the exceptional of one meet that produced pretty good results.
              The Mondo surfaces are "factory built" and laid as a carpet, and the quality control is much easier to do, than the poured in place applications.
              Given a budget to support it, and a quality base and sub-base to lay it on, the Mondo surfaces are tough to beat....The surface can be fast enough, with good rebound characteristics, without making it too hard to train on. These are not mutually exclusive, by any means.... Obviously, anyone doing too much training on a firm track will risk injury, by definition...

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              • #8
                The uber-kuhl surface at UNF is Mondotrack SX , which seems both hyper-fast AND comfortable. They train on it with no apparent ill effects.

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                • #9
                  Conica is the brand in the Stadiums in for example,:

                  Rome, Lausanne, Zurich, Stockholm, Berlin

                  http://www.conica.basf.com/en/aboutus/D ... oor_A4.pdf

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                  • #10
                    Marlow Wrote

                    " The harder the faster"

                    Not So - At least after a certain point .

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                    • #11
                      track surface

                      I wouldnt look too much into who makes what.
                      Looking at different tracks you want to know the hardness numbers.
                      The lower the number- the harder the surface and thus the faster the surface returns from compression. A soft track may well continue to return its energy after the sprinter's foot has already left the ground, reducing the power. The standard for the IAAF was to have tracks running between 28 (hardest) to 80 (softest) back in the 80s .

                      In a Seoul in 88, it was about 32 I believe.
                      In Tokyo they went above and beyond and had a track with a hardness level of 13. 6 men broke 10 seconds in the final (famous carl lewis race).

                      Now 5 years later... the Atlanta track in 1996 had a hardness level of 11, and results there show for themselves.

                      Beijing last year was also at a hardness level of 11 and of course.. all know what happened there.

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                      • #12
                        Re: track surface

                        Originally posted by track_expert
                        I wouldnt look too much into who makes what.
                        Looking at different tracks you want to know the hardness numbers.
                        The lower the number- the harder the surface and thus the faster the surface returns from compression. A soft track may well continue to return its energy after the sprinter's foot has already left the ground, reducing the power. The standard for the IAAF was to have tracks running between 28 (hardest) to 80 (softest) back in the 80s .

                        In a Seoul in 88, it was about 32 I believe.
                        In Tokyo they went above and beyond and had a track with a hardness level of 13. 6 men broke 10 seconds in the final (famous carl lewis race).

                        Now 5 years later... the Atlanta track in 1996 had a hardness level of 11, and results there show for themselves.



                        Beijing last year was also at a hardness level of 11 and of course.. all know what happened there.

                        so how much in times would these tracks differ, like say someone runs 10.00 on level 20 what would that time be on an 11?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: track surface

                          Originally posted by track_expert
                          I wouldnt look too much into who makes what.
                          Looking at different tracks you want to know the hardness numbers.
                          The lower the number- the harder the surface and thus the faster the surface returns from compression. A soft track may well continue to return its energy after the sprinter's foot has already left the ground, reducing the power. The standard for the IAAF was to have tracks running between 28 (hardest) to 80 (softest) back in the 80s .

                          In a Seoul in 88, it was about 32 I believe.
                          In Tokyo they went above and beyond and had a track with a hardness level of 13. 6 men broke 10 seconds in the final (famous carl lewis race).

                          Now 5 years later... the Atlanta track in 1996 had a hardness level of 11, and results there show for themselves.


                          Beijing last year was also at a hardness level of 11 and of course.. all know what happened there.
                          Are you suggesting the Concrete would be the fastest track surface in the World? If so, I think you are wrong...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            rasb - You are exactly right!! Research has been done thsat shows conxcrete is not the fastest surface!!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: track surface

                              Originally posted by rasb
                              Originally posted by track_expert
                              I wouldnt look too much into who makes what.
                              Looking at different tracks you want to know the hardness numbers.
                              The lower the number- the harder the surface and thus the faster the surface returns from compression. A soft track may well continue to return its energy after the sprinter's foot has already left the ground, reducing the power. The standard for the IAAF was to have tracks running between 28 (hardest) to 80 (softest) back in the 80s .

                              In a Seoul in 88, it was about 32 I believe.
                              In Tokyo they went above and beyond and had a track with a hardness level of 13. 6 men broke 10 seconds in the final (famous carl lewis race).

                              Now 5 years later... the Atlanta track in 1996 had a hardness level of 11, and results there show for themselves.


                              Beijing last year was also at a hardness level of 11 and of course.. all know what happened there.
                              Are you suggesting the Concrete would be the fastest track surface in the World? If so, I think you are wrong...
                              Concrete doesnt give any "rebound" or so to speak, thats a different topic.

                              Comment

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