Running tracks

The base construction of an athletics track comprises prepared soil formation with textile membrane, a sub-base of stone, a porous macadam layer for stability, and a shockpad for impact absorption. The playing surface that is laid on top can be one of a number of systems each tailored to meet various performance standards, budgets, and life-cycle projections.

Performance standards are set internationally by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and by UK Athletics on a national and regional basis.

Our Services | Athletics

Blakedown is a civil engineering company specialising in synthetic sports surfaces and athletics track construction. Operating for more than fifty years, we have worked with universities, colleges, schools, and local authorities to produce athletics facilities of the highest quality, and we have worked on many prestigious projects such as the Manchester Commonwealth Games, Sport England's Inspired Facilities framework, and the Queen Elizabeth stadium in north London.

We offer an in-house Design and Build service for facility construction and all of our tracks are built to IAAF performance standards.

Athletics track at the Embankment Arena in Peterborough

Case Study | Queen Elizabeth II Stadium

Blakedown Sport & Play was pleased to play its part in redevelopment works at the Queen Elizabeth II Stadium in Enfield. The existing athletics track had been officially inaugurated in 1953 and was used by Seb Coe, Daley Thompson, and Linford Christie as well as thousands of other users over the years, but it had fallen into disrepair and was eventually closed for safety reasons.

  • Client: London Borough of Enfield
  • Contract Value: £500,000
  • Build Time: 16 weeks

Blakedown completely reconstructed the six-lane track to a high-specification sandwich system suitable for national and regional athletics competition. Included in the scope of the works was the refurbishment of associated field facilities as part of a wider redevelopment project at the stadium; now also the home ground of Enfield Town Football Club.

Choice of Athletics Track

The technology of athletics track surfacing has been developing for more than fifty years leading to a great variety of products and systems available to facilities planners. The three most common track systems are Porous, Sandwich, and Solid.

Porous Tracks
The porous system comprises a 10mm in-situ rubber-granulate base construction with 2-3mm polyurethane top-coat which forms the playing surface. It is an IAAF approved system, but for international and top-level athletics competition should only be used as a training track. A porous track is suitable for athletics clubs, colleges and schools to provide a robust and stable surface for athletics.
Sandwich Tracks
The sandwich track system also comprises a 10mm in-situ rubber base, but with an EPDM rubber-granulate cast installed before the polyurethane top-coat. This system offers improved shock-absorption performance to the porous system and superior life-cycle economies: the EPDM wearing-cast not only lasts longer than a porous system but can also be retextured more times before replacement.
Solid Tracks
The solid track system is the premier product for competitive athletics and is made of specially formulated EPDM rubber-granulate with a double poly-urethane top-coat. This system is used for international athletics and meets the highest standards of IAAF approval rating.
The system chosen for athletics at the Olympic Games is a Mondotrack by Italian manufacturer Mondo. This system is a pre-fabricated product of vulcanised rubber and latex and offers leading performance characteristics for competition at the very highest level.
Athletics track construction for the Manchester Commonwealth Games
International mens hurdles on a solid track system
A sandwich track system at Down Grange Sports Complex

Compact Athletics Tracks

Compact athletics facilities have been designed by England Athletics in partnership with Sport England and UK Athletics to offer a new type of athletics surface suitable for urban areas with space restrictions. The Compact Athletics initiative offers facilities planners a construction kit of ready-designed components that can be selected and assembled to make key physical skills - running, jumping, and throwing - accessible to younger users in urban areas.

Blakedown were selected for the construction of the first ever compact athletics facility in the UK: Compact athletics tracks

An eight lane 60m compact sprint straight with floodlighting
Blakedown Sport & Play Ltd. | Copyright 2018 | All rights reserved