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Question: Smallest track sub 4 mile.

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  • #61
    Originally posted by DrJay View Post
    If you were a track fan living in the Philly-to-Boston corridor back then and willing to travel a bit, how many indoor meets did you attend in a season?
    I couldn't begin to count them, but the answer is "lots", especially because I traveled beyond the corridor and went to indoor meets in College Park, Cleveland, Toronto, Ottawa, Sherbrooke, Dallas, Chicago, LA, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Houston, Atlanta, Indianapolis, and I'm sure elsewhere. If I went through my collection of old programs, I''d more easily be able to add to that list. Certainly college meets at places like Dartmouth and Cornell.

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    • #62
      Originally posted by DrJay View Post
      The sound of pounding the boards made indoor unique, but indoor, for a lot of us was just….unique. Most of us probably had our formative track-fan years in high school and in places like Louisville, there was no permanent indoor track. We’d have our 10 or 12 cross country meets in the fall and 10 or 12 outdoor meets in the spring, but only one indoor meet. They’d set up the 220y boards inside Freedom Hall the second weekend in February for the Mason-Dixon Games and Friday evening and Saturday morning and early afternoon we’d watch high school and college events, and compete ourselves, then Saturday evening watch the big boys and girls compete. It was our only chance to see the likes of Dwight Stones and Filbert Bayi and the Tennessee St Tigerbelles compete locally. Saturday night after the athletes and fans went home the workers would dismantle the track and prep the arena for a Kentucky Colonels ABA game (at least through 1976) on Sunday, then a Ted Nugent or Earth Wind and Fire concert Tuesday and a UL basketball game the next Saturday. We made one trip up to Bloomington my senior year in HS to run an all-comers indoor meet. That was it for indoors in Louisville in the 1970s.

      If you ran (or jumped or threw) in HS back in the day in the Northeast where indoors was a thing and there were a lot more venues within a few hours travel, how many indoor meets might you have competed in in a season in HS? If you were a track fan living in the Philly-to-Boston corridor back then and willing to travel a bit, how many indoor meets did you attend in a season?
      I was fortunate enough to run in Freedom Hall three years in high school, and one in college (making the finals in the long jump my senior year in HS). There was something very special about hearing the rhythm on the boards as you rounded the curve. Great memories, to be sure.

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      • #63
        Originally posted by DoubleRBar View Post
        I loved the sound the runners made as they rounded those old indoor tracks.
        The sound was different if you were in the race or warming up under the stands (or in the stands). I totaled 14 separate indoor board meets/ year in college in eleven different cities.
        I found that in some board tracks that were not joined tightly together at their joints it would effect your stride. If you were not synchronized with the foot steps of the runner before you, you sometimes were jarred slightly if the runner pounces down in one stride while your foot is floating in space ready to pound down some milliseconds after he lifts off for his next stride and you would get a slight jolt of the board coming up on you. So, I believe most runners, would get into the same stride as the one in front so you both hit the board together and you wouldn't feel that unevenness in the track during the race.
        When you are running in the race there is no awareness of the "pounding noise" coming and going but the sound is usually a constant steady synchronous beat sound of every one striking the board in near unison.
        As I mentioned earlier a 12 lap track was easier to know where the quarter marks are going to be with your mental lap count. Louisville had the first 220 yard banked track and it was fast because of the longer straightaways and fewer laps (and more passing room).
        To respond to the initial question: There was a video of a runner breaking four minutes on a treadmill while wearing a face mask. That is some accomplishment that is hard to beat on a 8, 10, 11 0r 12 lap board track indoors with 50% of the 15,000 fans smoking.

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        • #64
          Thinking about indoors, how mildly absurd it was to have big indoor meets in San Diego and Los Angeles. In New York or Philly, Cleveland or even Louisville, athletes and fans would sometimes have to wade through snow and slush and ice and single digit temperatures to get to the arena. In SD and LA, they'd have to struggle through dry roads and sidewalks and 50F to 70F temps to arrive.

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          • #65
            Growing up in the East, where indoor track was a big deal (bigger than outdoors, actually), I always wondered why they would have indoor meets in places like LA and San Diego. You could run outdoors there in the winter and be perfectly comfortable. I never did get to a meet in San Diego, but I did see a couple of indoor meets in LA. They were OK meets, but it still made no sense to me. In the Northeast, we ran indoors in the winter because the weather made it impossible to run outdoors. As Dr. Jay pointed out, if it's 50F to 70F outdoors, why not run outdoors. The tracks are there, and no buildings have to be heated.
            Last edited by tandfman; 04-20-2021, 02:00 PM.

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            • #66
              Originally posted by DrJay View Post
              Thinking about indoors, how mildly absurd it was to have big indoor meets in San Diego and Los Angeles. In New York or Philly, Cleveland or even Louisville, athletes and fans would sometimes have to wade through snow and slush and ice and single digit temperatures to get to the arena. In SD and LA, they'd have to struggle through dry roads and sidewalks and 50F to 70F temps to arrive.
              Probably because they were more popular...

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              • #67
                Indoor meets provided more of a carnival atmosphere. Everything was so close to the audience, the smell of menthol filled the air, and the colors of uniforms and warmups added to the festive nature. It just seems more personal when you are never too far from the action, even on the backstretch.

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                • #68
                  Originally posted by tandfman View Post
                  Growing up in the East, where indoor track was a big deal (bigger than outdoors, actually), I always wondered why they would have indoor meets in places like LA and San Diego. You could run outdoors there in the winter and be perfectly comfortable. I never did get to a meet in San Diego, but I did see a couple of indoor meets in LA. They were OK meets, but it still made no sense to me. In the Northeast, we ran indoors in the winter because the weather made it impossible to run outdoors. As Dr. Jay pointed out, if it's 50F to 70F outdoors, why not run outdoors. The tracks are there, and no buildings have to be heated.
                  Because the crowds preferred indoor meets. I loved competing indoors with crowds of 10,000 to 15,000 right on top of you.

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                  • #69
                    Back when I was in high school in the 1960s & 1970s, we sometimes had “polar bear” meets outdoors in the winter when indoor tracks were unavailable. Such meets were pretty much gone from the scene for decades around here in NJ but made a comeback this winter because of the less severe COVID-19 restrictions on outdoor events.

                    What makes the polar bear meets a bit unusual is that they sometimes have indoor events such as the 55m, 60m, 300m, 600m, and 1000m on outdoor 400m tracks.

                    I also recall a NJ high school (Union Catholic) having a 160-yard wooden & banked track set up outside in its parking lot. The Millrose Mile Relay qualifier was held on it with the top two teams advancing to the Suburban race that also had two Long Island teams & two Westchester teams.

                    My freshman year, the NJ Catholic Freshman Winter Championships were supposed to be on the above track and I was supposed to run the 280 yard dash - two laps minus a turn. But a winter storm made the wooden track too slick. So the meet was moved to an all-weather quarter-mile track. I still ran the 280-yard dash and finished tied for 5th to earn my team a half point. It was a personal best because it was the only time that I ran the event.

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                    • #70
                      If anyone on the board attended or competed at Bishop Ford HS in Brooklyn, I recall their outdoor in the parking lot track was a 14 lap to the mile setup. I think I competed on it one time and all I recall is before and after listening to our teammate's new album - The Dark Side of the Moon.

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                      • #71
                        Found this today in a 1957 Log Distance Log....I presume the Ibottson race they are talking about the Wembley track. Also that Manchester mile must have been a lot shorter that 112 yards to run 3:37.

                        Last edited by Conor Dary; 04-26-2021, 10:25 PM.

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