Athletics tracks are generally 400m in length. But not all are.
Across Australia there are tracks as short as 200m and as long as 580m. And that’s only considering the length of the 95 synthetic tracks around the country.
Including the hundreds of grass tracks, many of which are only used for Little Athletics and are marked to fit within available space in suburban parks and ovals, there would be many more. One of our favourites is Campbell Oval in Sydney, which is 355m long and resembles the shape of the the nearby Canterbury Racecourse. But those grass tracks are an article for another day.
The longest synthetic athletics track
Holsworthy Army Barracks in the south west of Sydney holds this distinction at 580m long for the four lane track at its physical fitness centre.
The track is an odd shape to fit the perimeter of an oval, with two long straights connected by a tight, almost right angle curve, and a more sweeping bend for the remainder.
Not too far behind in length, at 507m, is Melbourne’s Olympic Park Oval. Situated on the footprint of Olympic Park Stadium – the spiritual home of the sport in Melbourne prior to its demolition in 2011 – the track has three non-standard width lanes around the circumference of Collingwood Football Club’s training ground.
The shortest synthetic athletics track
This distinction goes to the Sydney Japanese International School in Terrey Hills at 200m in length. Unlike the long length tracks, this one is in the normal proportions of a 400m track, just shrunk by 50%. The track also has a 100m straight as an extension of its home straight.
Not quite there – synthetic athletics tracks shorter than 400m
There’s a few tracks that are close to 400m, but not cigar.
These include Bundoora Secondary College in Melbourne and The Glennie School in Toowoomba which are 388m and 354m respectively. For those that dislike their athletics track arithmetic, don’t despair… these tracks are just over 400m in length if you run in lane 3 and lane 6 respectively.
At a more even length in Melbourne are tracks at Frankston High School (350m) and Mentone Girls’ Secondary College (300m).
Do you know of any other odd distance tracks?
Or other athletics tracks that should be listed on the Athletics Track Directory?
You can add a new listing here.