Wear-and-tearing Away

As the seasons change and crossIMG_8671 country turns into track and field, the constant running and inevitable wear-and-tear caused by sneakers and weather have caused the school’s track to erode.


“Many of the teams at this school use the track,” said teacher and cross country coach Patrick Shaw. “In fact many of the students and faculty use it throughout the year.”


The track was first surfaced in 2002 when the school opened. Since then the only things that have been done in terms maintenance are a relining and a repainting in 2012. County officials attempted to cover parts of the track in patches, but soon after they peeled.


“Since the track is built in an area where water quickly collects and stands, the markings on the track have all disappeared in the finished areas, especially in lanes one and two.” Shaw said.


Another reason for these harmful patches is the quality of the material used to surface the track. The mixture is an inexpensive rubber mix that when put down only is about one half of an inch.


“This type of material is not designed to last for an extended period of time like the more expensive synthetic surfaces that colleges and universities have,” Shaw said.


The constant occurrence of bare patches, along with the occasional chunks of rubber flying up as runners run, can pose a threat. This threat is posed to not only runners, but also other members of the local community.IMG_8667


“It is not illegal but it makes it difficult, somewhat dangerous and a bit of a liability to run on,” Shaw said.


Because these patches are thin, the track also makes all users prone to a higher risk of injuries. Bruises and cuts are easily caused by the rubber chunks.


“The most prominent [injuries] are stress fractures to the lower leg and foot area,” Shaw said.


Shaw, as of now, is not sure when the track will be repaired. He and all of the runners must play the waiting game before being able to run on a smooth and safe track.


“A quality track surface is a must, but I believe that decision is made at the county level,” Shaw said.