Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Track Woes

I know President's Day was last week, but allow me to invoke our founding fathers for a moment (God knows the presidential candidates have been invoking them on an hourly basis). Our founding fathers recognized that we have certain unalienable rights--the right to due process of law, the right to just compensation in cases of governmental takings, the right to religious freedom--but it's obvious none of our founding fathers was a runner.

If there had been runners in that first Congress at Federal Hall in New York, surely one of them would have included the right to a track!

What am I talking about? It can be really difficult to find a good all-weather 400 meter or 440 yard track. In New York City, there are a handful of tracks, but most of them fall into one of four categories:

(1) Weird distance - It's hard to run 800 m repeats on an unmarked 330m track!

(2) Weird shape - It's tricky to maintain speed on a track with 90 degree angles (plus, these tracks usually also fall into category (1))

(3) Limited Hours - Some of the nicest tracks are only open certain times of day, times that don't really allow people with jobs good options for getting in a workout.

(4) Pay-per-use tracks - There are a handful of indoor tracks in the city, but these require you to pay each time you want to use them and they usually fall into category (3) and sometimes categories (1) and (2) as well.

There's also a fifth category for tracks that are just too far away for me to get to on a weekday. There are great tracks at McCarren Park, the Redhook Recreation Area, Van Cortlandt Park, and Forest Park, but there is no way I can get to those places before work. There are two tracks close to me, one that's approximately 320 meters with 90 degree angles and one that doesn't open until 6am. I guess when you have Manhattan real estate prices to deal with, tracks just aren't a winning proposition.

For now, I'll continue to make due with the Central Park reservoir loop but I'm not going to stop dreaming about a day where I can live across the street from a pristine all-weather track!

1 comment:

  1. I shouldn't take my track for granted then! It's a local HS track and very nice. I usually get there super early so I'm done before the students start arriving!