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  • Question: Smallest track sub 4 mile.

    I know it has been done on 160 tracks. But anything smaller? My old high school's indoor 'track' was 80 yards. No one ran sub 4 but we had some fast times. One guy even ran a marathon on it.

    I've advocated elsewhere that to simulate the excitement of short track skating someone should build a 110 track. Imagine the excitement of sub 4 on a 16 lap track.

  • #2
    I'm frequently amused by the stated "laps per mile" posted at various Y's and Health Clubs. They always understate the number of laps needed for " 1 mile." It's invariably rounded down to the nearest whole lap, plus they ball park "measure" it in the inside walking lane rather than the outside running lanes. Good for the ego, though, if you are timing yourself. 2 examples that I frequent are advertised as 8 laps, actually 8.7, and 10, actually 10.7.
    Last edited by dukehjsteve; 02-25-2016, 05:57 PM.

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    • #3
      excellent question, and I don't know the answer for sure, but I'm guessing no for the simple reason that the few facilities that had tracks smaller than 160y weren't likely to be staging a lot of meets with athletes of the caliber required to run that fast.

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      • #4
        That is what I was thinking. I suppose there might have been smaller tracks back in the 1920s and 30s but of course no one was running sub 4.

        Which leads to the question of what is the smallest track a real meet has been held on.

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        • #5
          If by "real" you mean with name athletes, I know there were several 12-lap (146.7y) tracks on the circuit back in the day.

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          • #6
            Indeed that is what I meant. I sort of remember 12 lap tracks. I think Loyola University in Chicago had one but I don't know if they ran any meets.

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            • #7
              There were a few--very few--12 lap tracks. I think the last one to host a US circuit meet was at Philadelphia's Convention Hall. That was last used in 1971. The meet record was 4:00.6 by Kip Keino at the 1970 edition of the Philadelphia Track Classic, what had been the Philadelphia Inquirer Games.

              It will take some research to figure if that's the fastest ever on that size track, but the when Sam Bair set the meet record of 4:03.6 a year earlier, the NY Times wrote that it was "one of the fastest [miles] on a 12-lap board track."

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              • #8
                Boston's indoor meet in the 1930s was on a 12 lap track. I don't know long those indoor meets stayed on that track.

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                • #9
                  How big was the track in Hamilton, ON? It was still in use in the late 80s.

                  EDIT: I looked it up, it was 145 yards (12 laps + 20y for 1 mile). Marcus O'Sullivan twice ran 3:59 on it, in '93 and '95. Any shorter tracks with a sub-4:00?
                  Last edited by AyZiggy; 02-26-2016, 12:02 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by AyZiggy View Post
                    How big was the track in Hamilton, ON? It was still in use in the late 80s.

                    EDIT: I looked it up, it was 145 yards (12 laps + 20y for 1 mile). Marcus O'Sullivan twice ran 3:59 on it, in '93 and '95. Any shorter tracks with a sub-4:00?
                    Are you sure about that length of the track for the '93 and '95 meets? Reason I ask is the current website for the meet lists the length of the track at 145 meters (not yards) and indicates meet moved to its current location in 1986.

                    http://www.91track.ca/about/

                    145 meters would be 158+ yards, so still slightly shorter than a 160y track.

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                    • #11
                      All I'm sure about is that's what it was listed as in the February '93 issue of TFN.

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                      • #12
                        I appreciate this interesting thread -- these indoor venues and ~12 lap/mile tracks were before my time (i.e., in terms of growing up and following this sport -- I was actually alive, more or less), so I had no idea that anyone ever ran 4:00.6 (Keino in Philadelphia) or 3:59 (O'Sullivan in Hamilton) on a ~12 lap/mile track. Those guys must have looked like they were flying -- I wish I could have seen them. When I read these threads it always impresses me that someone out here seems to have seen pretty much everything that happened in athletics in the past several decades -- anyone here see any of the performances mentioned here?

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                        • #13
                          I was a freshman in college and saw Keino's 4:00.6. I was amazed that I was able to get a group of 8-10 other freshmen--only half of whom were track/cc athletes--to pay to go into the city and pay money to see a track meet.

                          A year later most of the same crew saw Marty Liquori beat Jim Ryun at Franklin Field.

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                          • #14
                            Hamilton came up in my memory because it was on CBC at least once in the late 80s. I specifically recall Paula Ivan running a fast race and Don Wittman saying she was on pace for a world record for a track of that size.

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                            • #15
                              1990 NY Times article has the length of the Hamilton track at 145.22 meters. Which is odd because still one yard short of the 160y that would divide evenly into the mile.

                              http://www.nytimes.com/1990/01/15/sp...-comeback.html

                              One other item I came across: the results of the 11th edition held in 1930.

                              https://news.google.com/newspapers?n...,3443418&hl=en

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