Athletics Track Construction

McArdle Sport Tec offer a range of athletics track options which fully comply with UK Athletics, SAPCA & International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

Whether you are looking to start an athletics track construction project for an elite international competition venue or a local school or athletics club, we can help with site surveys, planning and designs, soil investigation reporting and much more. Contact us for more information on how we can help you with your project.

SURFACE OPTIONS FOR ATHLETIC TRACKS:

There are many different types of synthetic athletic track surfaces available, but ultimately, they fall into two distinct categories:

POROUS: 

About porous tracks...

Porous track surfaces are designed so that water will flow through the surface to the underlying sub-base, allowing any moisture to filter through. In most cases, the athletics track will incorporate a porous aggregate sub-base and drainage system.

NON-POROUS: 

About non-porous tracks...

Non-porous surfaces are designed so that any water cannot penetrate the track surface. Excess water is removed by slope and gravitational flow to a surface drain system.

Types of non-porous track:

  • Sandwich Track
  • Solid Track
  • Prefabricated

POROUS TRACKS:

Porous track surfaces are a cost-effective solution for low level competition and training. This type of athletics track construction is the most popular in the UK.

The robust rubber granule base with a polyurethane topcoat provides a stable and supportive surface which is perfect for athletics clubs, colleges, and schools.

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Key Points:

  • Cost-effective option
  • Popular track system perfect for schools & community facilities.
  • Proven energy reduction properties
  • Economical
  • 50,000 athlete user hours per year
  • Professional cleaning every 3 years
  • Re-mark lines every 7 years
  • Surface respray every 7-10 years depending on usage*
*May require minor repairs/resurfacing to heavy wear areas.

SANDWICH TRACKS

Sandwich track ‘hybrid’ systems are an elite level, non-porous surfacing system which is more durable than porous running tracks.

A sandwich track facility comprises an additional layer of Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer, or EPDM for short, which improves the shock absorbency properties.

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The EPDM layer is applied after the rubber granule base and sealed with the polyurethane topcoat.

The main advantage of choosing a sandwich track surface is extending the track longevity. The EPDM cast can be re-texturised numerous times, which is a cost saving option in the future.

Key points:

  • High-quality track surface suitable for international athletics, at a competitive price
  • Offers many similar properties of the solid track system at a lower cost but is more expensive than a porous track
  • 100,000 athlete user hours per year
  • Less inclined to develop moss, as water runs off and spores are unable to establish
  • Professional cleaning every 3 years
  • Re-mark lines every 7 years
  • Surface ‘re-topping’ after 7-10 years depending on usage*
*May require minor repairs/resurfacing to heavy wear areas.

SOLID TRACKS

Designed for high level competition and high intensity use, solid tracks offer a harder surface consistency, which is preferred by elite level athletes. This method of athletics track construction produces an excellent finish and meets the highest IAAF accreditation standards. The track is made of specially formulated EPDM rubber granules with a double polyurethane topcoat.

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Installing a solid track system can be relatively costly compared to porous or sandwich systems. However, in the long term, the surface is more durable and requires less maintenance.

Key Points:

  • High-performance track accredited to the highest standards of international competition
  • 150,000 athlete user hours per year
  • Robust spike-resistant surface
  • More expensive than porous or sandwich systems
  • Less inclined to develop moss, as water runs off and spores unable to establish
  • Professional cleaning every 3 years
  • Re-mark lines every 7 years
  • Surface respray every 7-10 years depending on usage*
*May require minor repairs/resurfacing to heavy wear areas.

PREFABRICATED TRACK

Unlike porous, sandwich, or solid athletics tracks which are laid ‘in-situ’, prefabricated tracks are sections of rubber matting manufactured in a factory environment and supplied to the facility in ‘ready-made’ rolls. The rolls of prefabricated mats are installed on top of a macadam base, providing a non-porous system.

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The advantage of manufacturing the track at a factory is that it produces a product in a controlled environment, ensuring even thickness and performance characteristics.

Prefabricated tracks are designed for all levels of training and competing at high intensity usage, and they are the preferred surface for major track and field championships, including the Olympics.

The mats are made with a layer of vulcanised rubber and latex, providing outstanding performance characteristics. Although this system is more expensive long-term, the tracks are proven to be hard wearing and require less maintenance or repairs.

Key Points:

  • Top-quality athletics track surface suitable for the Olympics
  • More expensive than porous, sandwich, or solid systems
  • Extremely durable, can withstand  extreme usage
  • Maintenance friendly, no recoating required
  • Non-slip
  • Professional cleaning every 3 years
  • Re-mark lines every 7 years
  • Resurface every 10-15 years depending on usage*
*May require minor repairs/resurfacing to heavy wear areas.
Manchester Commonwealth Games athletics track

Project Portfolio:

CARDIFF METROPOLITAN UNIVERSITY

UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM

Completion date: August 2017

Project Details: Six-lane 400m athletics track, 2 sprint lanes, throw areas for javelin, discus and shotput.  Full size 3G rugby pitch infield.

Specification: Porous Track

Press Release: Cardiff Metropolitan Track

Cardiff Metropolitan University - Eight lane athletics track with 3G rugby in-field

Completion date: August 2017

Project Details: Eight-lane Stobitan porous athletics track including floodlighting, throwing and jump facilities with a 7000m² natural grass infield.

Specification: Porous Track

Case Study: University Of Birmingham

Uni of Birmingham

Manchester Commonwealth Games

KING GEORGE V SWANSEA

Completion date: 2002

Project Details: Prefabricated track by Italian manufacturer Mondo.

Specification: Prefabricated track

Case Study: Commonwealth Games XVII

Manchester Commonwealth Games athletics track

Completion date: 2005

Project Details: Eight-lane 400m international athletics track including throw areas, jumps and steeplechase.

Specification: Sandwich Track

King george V11 eight lane athletics track
Tidworth Oval eight lane athletics track
Stowe School - Eight lane athletics track
Uni of Birmingham
Aberdeen Sports Village
University of Birmingham IAAF athletics track
Aberdeen Sports Village - Long jump and eight lane track

CASE STUDIES

Find out more about our recent projects …

Chippenham RFC

Northern Area Playing Fields

HMS Temeraire

Dartford Valley RFC