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New Standard for Competitive Running Tracks

Installing synthetic-surfaced running tracks is costly and requires technical acumen. A new ASTM standard allows users to evaluate products at the time of selection, confirm that products meet the standard and contractual specifications, and bolster the safety of athletes with durable surfaces for competition running.

ASTM Committee F08 on Sports Equipment and Facilities has released F 2157, Standard Specification for Synthetic Surfaced Running Tracks. New in July, it establishes the minimum performance requirements for the traditional 400-metre stadium running track.

A task group of architects, engineers, chemists, manufacturers, installers and test laboratory personnel developed the standard, according to chairman Rolf Huber, president, EVERPLAY International, Inc. Mississauga, Ontario, makers of play and recreational surfaces.

Huber says users will have advantages when the standard is applied. “I believe that quality and longevity of running tracks in general will increase significantly through the application of this standard,” he says. “Ultimately the task group would like to provide the user and owner of the running track surface with the ability to make informed choices in a very technical area. This standard should level the “playing field” and take much of the mystery that has surrounded the provision of running track systems in the past. It should also provide the owner with the longevity they expect of their purchase.”

Task group members had the athlete’s safety in mind when they wrote ASTM F 2157. “The durability and dynamic performance of the surface may be compromised by imperfections such as bubbles, fissures, uncured areas, delamination, etc. These will not be allowed and must be corrected,” the group writes in the standard. They provide test methods for evenness and drainage and performance requirements for asphalt and newly installed synthetic surfaces. They describe how to perform site and suitability reports and testing.

A reference table offers detailed performance requirements and test methods for:

• Imperfections, evenness,
• Thickness, drainage,
• Force reduction,
• Modified vertical deformation;
• Texture influence (wet), tensile properties,
• Color grey scale, weathering,
• Spike resistance, and flammability.

“The technical requirements that form the standard can be applied to other running tracks such as university field houses, athletic clubs etc.,” says Huber. “This standard lays out the technical minimums in three classes that can be applied to any situation where athletic running is to take place.”

For further technical information, contact Rolf Huber, EVERPLAY International, Inc., Mississauga, Ont., Canada (phone: 416/410-3056). Committee F08 meets May 7-10 in Kansas City, Mo. For membership or meeting details contact Jim Olshefsky, director, Committee Services, ASTM International (phone: 610/832-9714). //

Copyright 2002, ASTM