Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: Dublin loses one of it's most famous tracks

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Dublin loses one of it's most famous tracks

Back in the 70's, the athletic track at the UCD campus in Belfield, Dublin was one of the finest in the country. Starting this week, the diggers were in ripping it up. The reason given for it's closure was “health and safety concerns” and as you can see from the photo below, it was neglected for years.
There is a proposal to build another track elsewhere on the campus but obviously, it would be a lot cheaper to re-surface the existing one rather than build a completely new one. According to an Irish Times article today, they speculate that the real reason is that it will ..."end up as a car park or the site of student accommodation".

The full Irish Times article can be seen HERE  (Photo: Bryan O’Brian)

While this may appear as a Dublin related news story, it raises the issue of other running track around the country. These tracks are not just the preserve of elite athletes intersted only in track and field events. Plenty of athletic and running clubs use them for speed training, especially during the winter months when the roads are dark.If a track like this in the capital city can be left go to ruin, what about other tracks elsewhere?


B O Mullain said...

Speaking of running tracks does anyone know when the Mardyke track will be fully available again? Construction works on the sports centre extension were due to finish in Dec this year, not sure how realistic that is.

ken owens said...

belfield was always the highlight of the schools years making the nationals, i was lucky to do it a few times in my school days , and once for the senior t&f. it will be a shame to see it go,its a sad sign of the times.
I think we are very lucky in cork that our two tracks are eing well looked after and supported by the clubs.As long as we keep doing that we will be fine.
ken owens

John Quigley said...

Dunno about that Ken...

The Mardyke was wrecked, during the flood of November 2009, and is out of action during the developments there.

I see that one of the reasons that Belfield closed was on Health & safety grounds, because it had become worn and slippy.

The CIT track surface has only been cleaned once (it's a pretty costly exercise) since it was re-laid in 2001. The result is that it becomes somewhat slippy when wet and it also remains wet for quite a while, because of silted up surface crumb.

In addition the committee that looks after the track are, apparently, reluctant to clean it, "for fear of damaging the crumb"

Failure to clean has resulted in the clogging of the pores, preventing the crumb from self-draining and also allowing silt to accumulate and reducing the "bounce" of the track.

Looks like fear of one consequence is leading to another arising, so we'll end up with the same result!