What Are the Dimensions of a Running Track?
The dimensions of a running track may have variances depending on the venue's layout. Typically, an oval running track is a multi-sport arena with dimensions that adhere to the requirements of other sports. However, for elite and worldwide competitions, the International Association of Athletics Federations sets the manual for all track-and-field events. A standard running oval track includes at least four lanes and safety zones.
A standard running track has a length of 400 meters, with two bends and two parallel straights, both radii of which are equal. Typically, the inside area of the track accommodates all throwing events and a standard soccer pitch of 68 by 105 meters. The track comprises two semi-circles with a radius of 36.5 meters each. The semi-circles are joined by two straights measuring 84.39 meters long.
The standard 400-meter oval track has a minimum width of 72 meters. According to the International Association of Athletics Federations, or IAAF, the standard running track includes an oval track with a minimum of four lanes and safety zones measuring at least 1 meter on the inside and outside. Lanes must have a width of 1.22 meters and marked by white lines 5 cm wide.
100 Meter Start
The 100-meter race is run on the "straight" portion of the running track, on its side. The 100 meter is measured from the finish line's edge to the finish line straight up the track, without a curve. According to IAAF, the straight race has a starting area of 3 meters minimum, with a runout of 17 meters minimum.
International Association of Athletics Federations
The IAAF sets the standards and dimensions for running tracks used in elite and global competitions. IAAF also sets the minimum standards for a running track when setting world record performances. Though local running tracks may not adhere to IAAF dimensions, the IAAF standards are still a useful point of reference when it comes to comparing dimensions of running tracks.
Rona Aquino began writing professionally in 2008. As an avid marathon runner and outdoor enthusiast, she writes on topics of running, fitness and outdoor recreation for various publications. Aquino holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications and English from the University of Maryland College Park.