People who are familiar with the game of cricket know that the pitch where the game is played has a serious influence on the actual outcome of the game. The same applies to tennis, which incidentally is a far more popular and truly global sport than cricket. Those who rule the grass courts of Wimbledon almost always fail miserably in the clay court in Rolland Garros in Paris across the English Channel. But does the tract influence the speed of athletes in a racing competition? Although strange it seems, studies have shown that it does. In certain types of tracks, the spikes of the athletes bounce quicker and as a result their velocity increases. For understanding this finding in its complete sense, one needs to first understand the basics of running track technology.
Over a century earlier tracks used for athletics were covered with grass. Then grass tracks gave way to cinder tracks. The tracks that are widely used at present are all weather tracks. Grass tracks are no longer used at present. But cinder tracks are still used. These tracks have a soft surface and athletes found such tracks very comfortable and convenient.
But the problems with these tracks are the high maintenance costs and weather dependence. Suppose asphalt is used in the top layer of these tracks, it will be difficult to use it in hot climate. That is because asphalt tends to melt in hot climates. As a result of this, cinder tracks are increasingly being displaced by all weather tracks. The running track technology behind all weather tracks take care to keep the track above the influence of climate changes.
For all kinds of tracks, there will be a sub base that fits the track to the ground solidly. This sub base should be able to withstand the heavy pressure while high voltage running and other climate related stress. The base should not crumble on external pressure. Above the base, a layer of asphalt or concrete is used. In hotter climates concrete is used, while in colder climates asphalt is preferred. Above this layer, a top layer made of rubber chips are laid along with a cementing layer. Various kinds of rubber materials are used for this purpose. The rubber chips are used so as to provide a smoother and bouncy running surface to the athletes, which improve the performance of the athletes.
The various kinds of running track technologies specify that the drainage facility on the track must be impeccable. The strategy is to not allow water from other areas of the ground to the track and drain all the water that fall on the track as quickly as possible. When designing the drainage facility and considering the topographical specifications, one should keep in mind that there is a big separate ground nearby for the field events. The design must be done accordingly.