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Stade d’Athlétisme Philippidès, Montpellier

May 2023

Rekortan M RT and Polytan SMART at the Stade d’Athlétisme Philippidès, Montpellier

New shine and a high-tech solution for the old track in Montpellier

Over the centuries, Montpellier in the south of France has developed into an international metropolis, even being selected as one of the top 45 places to go in the world by the New York Times. This accolade can not least be attributed to its versatility. Montpellier is not only one of the largest cities on the Mediterranean coast of France, but its university is one of the most prestigious in the country.

Sports has always been a major affair in Montpellier. Rugby currently ranks as the most popular sport, spearheaded by Montpellier HRC, which plays in the first French league. The city also boasts first-class handball and football teams. The home base of the city’s track-and-field athletes is the Stade d’Athlétisme Philippidès, where all the classic disciplines are practised. It features a 400-metre athletics track with eight lanes, including an integrated sprinting track and facilities for the jumping and throwing disciplines. It serves as a training ground for members of the two local athletics associations, Montpellier Athletic Club and Montpellier Athletic Méditerranée Métropole, as well as members of the local university.

In 2022, the running tracks were re-topped using our Rekortan M RT surface. During the re-topping process by Polytan, old and worn surfaces are technically and cosmetically restored; in Montpellier, the surface had become wavy and lumpy. Once our employees had levelled the bumps and filled the holes, they applied the topping, explains Adrien Bachelet: “This is a mixture of two resins, which form polyurethane. They are applied on top of the old surface.” Additionally, granules are distributed throughout the surface, helping to form the new topping. Re-topping is an extremely economical and sustainable solution for the renovation of sports facilities, as the existing elastic substructures remain in place, rather than being disposed of. In Montpellier, the customer also opted for a change of colour, replacing red with sky blue.

In addition to renewed surfaces, Polytan SMART was installed – our high-precision system for professional performance diagnostics – and, according to the local press, the most important new feature of the Stade d’Athlétisme Philippidès. The Polytan SMART system consists of integrated, maintenance-free, magnetic timing gates that are permanently and securely installed in the ground. It is accompanied by a sensor weighing only 15 grams and the tried-and-tested diagnostics software from Polytan’s partner, Humotion. Even amateur athletes can use the free Smart Run by Humotion app on a smartphone, which is worn on the body using a running belt. The measurements – such as distance, time, number of steps and step frequency – are evaluated and analysed directly in the app. In Montpellier, a total of 141 magnets have been embedded in the surface. SmarTracks Diagnostics enable high-precision measurement of various relevant performance parameters, such as speed, endurance and strength. The diagnostics software analyses and evaluates the results, helping athletes to direct their training more effectively and maximise their performance. The results provide athletes with a comprehensive athletic profile. Polytan SMART can not only be installed in new sports facilities, but integrated in existing ones as well. Once installed, it can be used to take precise measurements at any time – regardless of the weather and for multiple athletes at once. In Montpellier, it can not only be used for running sports, but also to measure run-ups in the long jump or when pole vaulting.

The high-tech solution will also benefit our brand ambassador Ludovic Besson, who trains at the Stade d’Athlétisme Philippidès. The decathlete finished in first place in the French U23 Multisport World Championships in Oyonnax, 2018, among other victories. His big goal is the Olympic Games in Paris. We wish him all the best and are sure that Polytan SMART will help him to achieve this goal.

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