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Extraordinary running tracks for Norwegian athletes

Extraordinary running tracks for Norwegian athletes

Training conditions for amateur and professional athletes in the municipality of Evje og Hornnes in the south of Norway have been extraordinarily good since the installation of a new athletic facility: as the first sports facility in this Scandinavian country, the Hornnes Idrettspark has both a heated track and a soft, springy one designed to be easy on the joints, which makes it ideal for daily or intensive training sessions.

The outdoor sports park consists of a 100 x 64 metre football pitch with the athletics facilities arranged around it. It has five discus throwing circles, two shot put rings, a long jump and triple jump, each of which has its own run-up, three long jump pits and six circular tracks for competitions. The seventh, outside lane is a particularly soft track and is coloured green to make it stand out from the other, brick red lanes.

Polytan WSS, an all-round surface for professional requirements, has been installed on all the red running and run-up tracks. The 15 mm thick synthetic coating is water-permeable so that rainwater can also drain away vertically, thus reducing the amount of surface water on the track. The structured surface is also designed to be non-slip and ideally suited to spikes. As the main sprint track, lane number four has undersoil heating to keep it free of ice and snow all year.

The structure of the seventh, green "jogging lane" was installed in line with the specific requirements of the customer, who wanted a springy base for high volume running, all types of intervals (sprint and distance intervals) and plyometric work, which is special jump training designed to increase power and improve performance. With a surface that is easy on the joints, the track is also suitable for amateur athletes carrying extra weight.

The bottom elastic layer is between 25 and 30 millimetres thick and was made from newly manufactured running track granules – elastic layers such as this normally consist of black, certified recycling material and are used in synthetic turf systems. The second, middle layer, a 10-11 millimetre synthetic coating made from Polytan SE in "reseda green", comes next and is topped off by the final layer, a 2-3 millimetre spray coating of the water-permeable all-rounder Polytan WS, likewise in reseda green.

The training and competition conditions in the Hornnes Idrettspark are unique in Norway and can be attributed to the commitment of national coach Olav Tveitå. He is particularly thrilled by the success of the green track: "Professional and amateur athletes from the local area are delighted and put in 90 per cent of their training on it. This is because the surface is yielding – but not excessively so. I think we’ve found the best possible shock absorbency."

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