By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
After completing the western D section workmen are currently working on the final 130m on the first curve to complete relaying a new Mondo Track at the A. O. Shirley Recreation Grounds. After the surface is laid, then it will be ready for the lanes to be marked on the running surface and in the field events area.
The work began in late September after crews began using two Bob Cats—one ripping up the deteriorating red Mondo track surface and the other smoothing it, then they began laying a new blue surface, which will be completed by month’s end.
So far, almost all of the 400m surface has been laid, with both Long and Triple Jumps runways completed. The eastern D section that has two Pole Vault runways, two Shot Put circles, the Javelin Throw lane and the Steeplechase water jump. The Pole Vault and Long and Triple Jump runways are light and dark shades of blue while the 400m oval will be light blue all around.
“This track was under warrantee for five years and of course it lasted for five years,” noted A. O. Shirley Grounds manager Dag Samuels of the track that opened in 2008. “In addition to that, Mondo came back four or five times and made some studies, because they realized that the surface—it’s a very, very fast surface with a thin layer and it’s not training friendly, and it’s more competition friendly—but what we have noticed with the salt air, it has made a lot of cracks in the track. This has caused the track to grind and you found a lot of grains, so they had to go back to the drawing board to come up with something that is more conducive to this area, with the salt air, sun and everything.”
Samuels said this new surface should be more training friendly and better withstand the weather. He said the use of long spikes and the walking that was done on it in the past contributed to the wear and tear of the surface. On this track he added when one trains they don’t wear spikes as often and if they do wear spikes, it will only be 4mm, a very thin spike that will not affect the surface. Walking on the track with the wrong shoes as well, can wear out the surface.