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Grass vs Track conversion - help!

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  • #16
    Grass to track? Ask SCR....ha ha.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by 1.609 View Post
      Grass to track? Ask SCR....ha ha.
      The best observation yet

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Fortius19 View Post
        Thanks for the feedback. We're looking at creating a grass track here in central CA for a local kids club.
        I assume you wouldn't find many (any?) specialists on grass tracks in CA but certainly talk to people who maintain high wear grass areas such as football pitches. This will give you a good idea on build and maintenance requirements and grass choice for your area and soil type, as well as ongoing costs.

        Like any project, time and effort on researching, thinking and planning before you do anything saves many times the effort fixing up problems due to poor choices at the beginning. This is particularly important if the "We" is going to be entirely responsible for the construction and maintenance.

        Even if you are partnering with a big brother like local government, sports trust or school system, the more you know, the better an advocate you'll be for getting what you need not what's convenient/least cost for big brother.

        Here's a list of some some of Australia's best grass tracks including some in Perth, Western Australia which has the closest climate match to CA and is substantially dependent on irrigation. Some of them mention the local government that maintains them, so you could contact them directly for information/costs.

        https://tracks.insideathletics.com.a...e-grass-track/

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        • #19
          Originally posted by El Toro View Post

          I assume you wouldn't find many (any?) specialists on grass tracks in CA but certainly talk to people who maintain high wear grass areas such as football pitches. This will give you a good idea on build and maintenance requirements and grass choice for your area and soil type, as well as ongoing costs.

          Like any project, time and effort on researching, thinking and planning before you do anything saves many times the effort fixing up problems due to poor choices at the beginning. This is particularly important if the "We" is going to be entirely responsible for the construction and maintenance.

          Even if you are partnering with a big brother like local government, sports trust or school system, the more you know, the better an advocate you'll be for getting what you need not what's convenient/least cost for big brother.

          Here's a list of some some of Australia's best grass tracks including some in Perth, Western Australia which has the closest climate match to CA and is substantially dependent on irrigation. Some of them mention the local government that maintains them, so you could contact them directly for information/costs.

          https://tracks.insideathletics.com.a...e-grass-track/
          Wow! This is gold! Thank you so much. I've had difficultly finding ANY info on grass tracks. The local people I've talked to using grass for sports have an off-season where they re-seed, etc. We were hoping to have a year-round grass track. I'll see if I can get some info from these AUS people. That Stradbroke Park track is beautiful. Thanks again!!
          Last edited by Fortius19; 10-02-2021, 05:59 AM.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Fortius19 View Post

            Wow! This is gold! Thank you so much. I've had difficultly finding ANY info on grass tracks. The local people I've talked to using grass for sports have an off-season where they re-seed, etc. We were hoping to have a year-round grass track. I'll see if I can get some info from these AUS people. That Stradbroke Park track is beautiful. Thanks again!!
            Australia has some of the best turf managers in the world due to a number of factors that don't seem to exist in USA:

            - Continual sport seasons - Australian Rules football (winter) followed by cricket(summer) both heavily using the centre, see MCG https://hgsportsturf.com.au/case-stu...et-ground-mcg/ as well as any number of suburban grounds without the MCG's 20 full-time groundsman.

            - Universal grass instead of synthetic in dry locations - grass athletics tracks, football fields and cricket fields in inland eastern Australia, South Australia and Western Australia

            - Specialist sports - lawn bowls requires exceptionally well constructed and maintained rinks https://www.victga.com/index_htm_fil...20complete.pdf

            Having said that, not all grass in Australia is well maintained as money is not unlimited. Your example of Stradbroke Park looks like a "mow and grow" park where the local council mows it on a regular basis and that's about it. I would doubt that they ever do anything else except maybe occasional fertiliser or top dressing. You can see the unrepaired field damage from soccer and the patchy thatch on the grass, so it might not even be irrigated.

            Also note that this is primarily used by a Little Athletics club, which is 2-300 kids aged 6-14 for 4 1/2 months over summer, so the grass track has plenty of time to recover. You need to find a track that has a senior club using it to get the all year round usage you are proposing for your venue. This might get you a better idea of how much extra work is needed compared to part year used tracks.

            You may be able to get additional assistance from the Australian Sports Turf Managers https://www.agcsa.com.au/ They have a lot of reference material but it's only available to members and there is an option for overseas members.

            There is also a USA version https://www.stma.org/ but again, they are unlikely to have the specific grass track expertise you need. However, they may be better placed for advice on available grass varieties and soil management and climate combinations in your area.

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            • #21
              Many of these Australian grass tracks look very good. Here in the UK, grass tracks tend to be just where a 400m oval has been painted on a field at a school. They will often be bumpy and/or on a slight slope. I remember the one at the school I attended from 11 to 18 was slightly uphill on the backstraight but usually with a tailwind and slightly downhill on the home straight with there usually being a headwind.

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              • #22
                In the states the people who really know how to care about grass are golf people.

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                • #23
                  I met someone this past summer who was majoring at a state university in Turf Management, and had a summer internship with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

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                  • #24
                    Bottom Line: There are too many variables in all surfaces to have any meaningful conversion.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Trickstat View Post
                      Many of these Australian grass tracks look very good. Here in the UK, grass tracks tend to be just where a 400m oval has been painted on a field at a school. They will often be bumpy and/or on a slight slope. I remember the one at the school I attended from 11 to 18 was slightly uphill on the backstraight but usually with a tailwind and slightly downhill on the home straight with there usually being a headwind.
                      Well, it was a link to Australia's "best" grass tracks.

                      There's plenty of the sort you described as well, like my old high school track.

                      The 200m start was level but lower than than the 100m straight. You'd get out well but just as you started to get real speed, it had a sharp dip for about two strides that would nearly make your knees buckle when you dropped into it, then again when you climbed out of it, then you'd face a long grind around the bend climbing about over a metre by the time you hit the straight.

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                      • #26
                        I've never seen a grass track

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Conor Dary View Post
                          In the states the people who really know how to care about grass are golf people.
                          In 1976, we had a family holiday in Berwick-upon-Tweed just south of the Scottish border. My Dad was preparing for his second marathon and did a lot of running on the side of the fairways of the local golf course which apparently was a superb running surface.

                          Edit - forgot to add that he smashed his PB to 2:39 in that second marathon a few weeks later.
                          Last edited by Trickstat; 10-03-2021, 06:10 PM.

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                          • #28
                            In Illinois I lived a half mile from our golf course....flat and great to run on. Before the 1984 Olympics Seb Coe stayed nearby and trained there.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by gh View Post
                              I've never seen a grass track
                              There was one at the primary school near us in West Byfleet. Interesting to watch them pain the lines each year on undulating and slanted ground. It was a nice enough surface to run on, but woe to anyone who had trouble with the ups and downs!

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by gm View Post

                                There was one at the primary school near us in West Byfleet. Interesting to watch them pain the lines each year on undulating and slanted ground. It was a nice enough surface to run on, but woe to anyone who had trouble with the ups and downs!
                                I remember attending league inter-club matches at 2 grass tracks in the '70s and '80s. One was at King's Lynn in Norfolk and the other at Haslemere. King's Lynn now has an all-weather track.

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