- Layout: There are 6 lanes each 36 inches wide. The track is formed by 2 semicircles each 85 meters in length joined by 15 meter straightaways. The radius of curvature of the circular portions is 89 feet. The sprint lanes are 42 inches wide. The measured line in lane 1 is 30 cm (11.81) inches from the inside edge of the track. In all other lanes it is 20 cm from the outer edge of the lane line to the runner's left.
- Distances: 8 Laps in Lane 1 is 1600 meters, not 1 mile. It is .9941939076 mile, or 9.344 meters short of a mile. Other lane-lap combinations which give approximately even mile distances: 7 laps in lane 6 is .9948693772 miles. 37 laps in lane 4 is 4.994415896 miles. 86 laps in lane 2 is 10.99460379 miles. (All of these are closer to an even number of miles than is 8 laps in lane 1. ) Here are some analogous facts for the standard 400 meter outdoor track ( 42 inch lanes ): 26 laps in lane 6 is 7.003709132 miles, 49 laps in lane 5 is 12.99521346 miles. 23 laps in lane 4 is 6.003999297 miles, and 91 laps in lane 2 is 22.99692551 miles. ( The accuracy indicated here is absurd, of course. The milage figures quoted assume that the track has been measured exactly, and uses the exact conversion from metric to English.)
- Staggers: There are two stagger lines marked in each lane (except the first ), offset from the starting line and also from the 1500 meter starting line. The first stagger line is marked in green and is called the one-turn stagger. It is used when runners may break for the inside lane immediately after rounding the first curve. The second line is the two-turn stagger and is used when runners may break immediately after rounding the second curve. For example, the 400m dash is normally run indoors off a 2-turn stagger. Runners start from the second stagger line and must stay in their lanes until they have crossed a line called the break line. It is marked in yellow on the Manley track at a point 15 meters behind the starting line. Thus runners stay in lanes for almost 1 entire lap. (Update: the two turn stagger line is actually a double line. There is a white line and a blue line slightly displaced from it in the direction away from the starting line. The gap between the two lines gets larger as one moves towards the outer lanes. The white line is only used for the 200m dash run in lanes. The blue line is used for the 400m run in lanes for the first lap, and for relays run in lanes for the first lap. The gap between the two lines makes up for the diagonal runners must follow when they move to the pole after crossing the break line.)
- Starting line: The starting line is a curve, often termed
the "waterfall" (for reasons which are a mystery to me.) This
is a rather interesting curve from a mathematical point of
view. It is one of a family of curves known as
*involutes*. There are 4 other involutes in Manley besides the main starting line: they are the one and two turn break lines, the 1500m starting line, and the 1 mile starting line (marked in orange.) There are also two curves which appear to be involutes: they are rather faint curves approximately 10 feet behind each of the starting lines. These are used to line up runners before they are called up to the starting lines. Since the starting line is approximately 2 inches thick, it is worth pointing out that the theoretical starting line is the edge of the physical line nearest the runners. (Thus, runners must keep their toes behind the line before the start.) There is much more that can be said about the geometry of the waterfall start. - Finish line: The finish line is a straight line across the track which meets the starting line at the inside edge of the track. It is 2 inches wide and marked in white. The theoretical finish line is the far edge of the physical line as seen by the finishing runners.
- Hurdle markings: The sets of small green diamonds along the sprint lanes mark the location of the men's 55m hurdles and the yellow diamonds mark the location of the women's 55m hurdles. The little black marks show the location of Ed Lukens' hurdles. (dated remark - p robably no longer true.)
- The 50 and 150 meter points are marked. Look for the small markings about 2/3 of the way through the first and second curves. We once figured out the exact point you have to run to past 16 laps in order to run 2 miles. It is where the 55 meter finish line intersects the inside edge of the track.
- There are several broken white lines marked across the track. For example, one such line runs along the east-west axis of the building (in line with mid-court on the basketball court.) These lines have no significance for track and field; they are used for alignment when the bleachers are being deployed.
- What to do when the bleachers are out: If you go all the way around behind both sets of bleachers it is about 250 meters. (To run the "official" route, don't go inside of lane 3.) Thus, 32 of these big laps will give you a five miler. If you go behind only one set of bleachers you need to run 36. (Someday I'm going to get in there with my Jones counter and figure this out exactly.)