California and Nevada
All-Weather Tracks

Preface, Coming Soon, Markings, Installers, Dirt Tracks, Bottom 10, Editorial on Track Maintenence

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Now open for business, I am now available for consulting on the installation of your new track. See details or write to me at info@trackinfo.org.

This is the new improved (faster to load) index. The old version that showed everything just got to be too cumbersome to load. Of course that slowness was aided by my rambling editorial commentary which is now at the bottom and is scattered within the content. I trust you will get my pro-runner perspective. I can be contacted at info@trackinfo.org

Clicking on the County or the City will take you to that listing. Legend to the layout--here's what I know:

Facility Name
Year Constructed Legal Curb? Steeplechase information
Cross streets or directions
Notes on unique situations and security problems
Credited Manufacturer or installer Type of Surface
Finish direction "Imperial" if track is measured in yards. Number of lanes
Straightaway length
Aerial photo link courtesy of Google
Altitude
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Alameda County

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Alameda, Berkeley-2, Emeryville, Hayward-2, Livermore-2, Newark, Oakland-6, Piedmont, Pleasanton-2, Union City

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Butte County

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Chico-2, Oroville

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Contra Costa County

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Antioch, Concord, Lafayette, Martinez, Moraga, Orinda, Pittsburg, Pleasant Hill-2, San Pablo, San Ramon

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Del Norte County

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Crescent City

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El Dorado County

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South Lake Tahoe

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Fresno County

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Clovis-4, Coalinga, Fresno-6, Reedley-2, Sanger

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Humboldt County

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Arcata, Bayside, Eureka-2, Fortuna

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Imperial County

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Brawley, El Centro-2

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Kern County

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Bakersfield-3, Ridgecrest, Taft

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Kings County

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Corcoran, Hanford, Lemoore

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Lassen County

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Susanville

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Los Angeles County

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Agoura Hills, Arcadia, Azusa/Glendora-2, Beverly Hills, Calabasas, Carson, Cerritos, Compton-3, Culver City, Gardena, Hawthorne, Inglewood-2, La Canada/Flintricge, Lancaster-2, La Verne-2, Lawndale-2, Long Beach-2, Los Angeles-21, Lynwood, Malibu-2, Manhattan Beach, Norwalk, Palos Verdes, Pasadena-4, Pomona/Claremont-6, Rowland Heights, Santa Monica-2, Southgate, Torrance, Valencia, Walnut-2, Westlake Village, Whittier

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Marin County

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Kentfield, San Rafael

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Mendocino County

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Ukiah

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Merced County

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Merced

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Monterey County

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Carmel, Chualar, Monterey-3, Pebble Beach, Salinas-5, Soledad

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Nevada County

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Grass Valley

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Orange County

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Brea, Costa Mesa, Cypress, Fullerton-2, Huntington Beach-2, Irvine-2, Mission Viejo-3, Newport Beach, Santa Ana-2

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Placer County

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Auburn, Granite Bay, Rocklin

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Riverside County

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Beaumont, Cathedral City, Coachella, Desert Hot Springs, Hemet, Indio, La Quinta, Moreno Valley, Palm Desert, Palm Springs, Riverside, Thermal, San Jacinto

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Sacramento County

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Fair Oaks, Rancho Cordova, Sacramento-4

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San Bernardino County

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Chino, Lake Arrowhead, Rancho Cucamonga-2, San Bernardino

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San Diego County

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Chula Vista-2, El Cajon, Escondido-2, Julian, La Jolla-2, Oceanside, Poway-2, San Diego-7, San Marcos-2, Santee,Vista-2

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San Francisco-8

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San Joaquin County

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Stockton-3

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San Luis Obispo County

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Atascadero, Paso Robles-2, San Luis Obispo-2

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San Mateo County

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Atherton-3, Belmont, Burlingame, San Bruno, San Mateo-3, Woodside

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Santa Barbara County

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Carpinteria-2, Los Olivos, Santa Barbara-6, Santa Maria-4, Santa Ynez

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Santa Clara County

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Cupertino-2, Gilroy, Los Altos-2, Los Gatos, Milpitas, Morgan Hill, Mountain View, Palo Alto/Stanford-4, San Jose-23, Santa Clara, Saratoga-2

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Santa Cruz County

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Aptos, Soquel

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Shasta County

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Cottonwood-2, Redding-3

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Siskiyou County

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Weed, Yreka

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Solano County

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Fairfield, Suisun City, Travis AFB, Vallejo

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Sonoma County

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Petaluma, Rohnert, Santa Rosa-4, Sebastapol, Sonoma

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Stanislaus County

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Modesto, Turlock

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Tulare County

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Porterville, Tulare, Visalia-2

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Ventura County

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Camarillo, Moorpark-2, Oak Park, Ojai, Oxnard-5, Port Hueneme, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks-4, Ventura-3

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Yolo County

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Davis

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Yuba County

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Yuba City

California Counties without a known All-Weather Track
Amador
Colusa
Glenn
Inyo
Lake
Mariposa
Modoc
Mono
Plumas
San Benito
Sierra
Tehama
Trinity
Tuolumne

If you know something I don't know, please correct me at info@trackinfo.org

STATE OF NEVADA

(for visitors to a neighboring state--I'll do Arizona, Oregon and other areas if I get enough information)

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Churchill County

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Fallon

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Clark County

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Boulder City, Henderson-4, Indian Springs, Las Vegas-18, Laughlin, Logandale, Mesquite, North Las Vegas-3

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Douglas County

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Carson City

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Elko County

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Elko

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Lyon County

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Yerrington

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Washoe County

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Reno, Sparks

Nevada Counties without a known All-Weather Track
Esmeralda
Eureka
Humboldt
Lander
Lincoln
Mineral
Pershing
Storey
White Pine

If you know something I don't know, please correct me at info@trackinfo.org

This is for the benefit of other runners traveling around the state. As I travel I frequently have to find a place to run. I've been to and have run on so many tracks around this state, now over 700 in all, that I have a rare knowledge of this information. * Obviously, since this is mostly based on my personal recollections, there are inaccuracies and missing information. New tracks are constructed each year, now approaching 350 locations. I have not personally been to some of the tracks I have listed (not to mention the new ones that are constructed in secrecy), so some information might be wrong or outdated. If you find any tracks I have missed or have not listed correctly, please e.mail me the information at: info@trackinfo.org. I'm pretty sure there are others out there. Special thanks to Jimson Lee, Jim Bordoni, Andy Chan, Tom Judy, David Dennis, GLSmithmtn, John Davis, N Goeres, David Sawyer, Sean Laughlin, Paul Fleming, Tol96, A3310K, SyKckDance, Bostonruls, THJCPA, TNyhan, Tahoecal, clyons, Bill Rice, Randal Droher, Bill Heppner and LAXKEEPER for their additions to this list. I have also added listings of exceptional dirt tracks (good, bad or just plain interesting situations) at the bottom of this page. You are also welcome to add to the list. My most recent attempts have been to add the approximate dates of the construction and resurfacing of these tracks, the number of lanes each has, the straightaway length (which is the best way to calculate the severity of the turns, a short straight=a wide turn) and now pictures (some mine, some from the school). Possibly soon to come, altitude--I was given some readings by Jim Hanley, a geographer who carries an altimeter with him. Any additional help will be welcome. If you don't see a comment, either I don't have the information or I forgot to post it.

Certain tracks have restricted access to the public. Obviously all tracks restrict access during events and practices, just as they (all-weather facilities) all limit the length of your spikes to 1/4" or less. Some have anything from threatening signs, to high barb wire fences, to overzealous security patrols guarding them. I tend to ignore them and manage to get in, but then because of my audacity I've personally been escorted out of several facilities (none worth using now), while trying to do a workout, yet I was not bothered on the Olympic Track in Atlanta (during the Olympic Trials, part of its short life, R.I.P.). But on the other side, I was once thrown across the hood of my car "feet back and spread 'em" because the campus rent-a-cop at one local J.C. (dirt track) couldn't figure out why someone would be running on the track in running clothes (at, odd for me, 3 in the afternoon). These are the things you have to do to participate in our sport. Most tracks baracade themselves so wheeled vehicles can't get in, you may have to search for the one way in (look for chained gates that leave just enough play for a small runner to squeeze through--football players and throwers, forget about it). I will place a ! before any tracks I know of serious access problems, followed by a note on the problem, particularly those located on private property. Of course, I've been known to hop a fence, so I don't consider such a small obstacle to be significant. I've been told that all publicly funded tracks and other athletic fields (those at public high schools and colleges) must allow for public access (by a court decision for the AYSO some twenty years ago). I'd like to quote the precedent case number or section of the code--anybody (lawyers in particular) with a little help here? The exception is, you cannot be on campus when school is in session or during a practice--and always be courteous. It may be hard to find but supposedly there should be a way in. I am certain that there are facilities where I have been unable to find that way in, but it makes me feel a lot better about jumping somebody's public fence. I've concluded a serious track runner has to develop the technique for jumping a chain link fence.

There were Mapquest Aerial Photos attached to most of these tracks. Since going through all that effort, Mapquest (now an AOL-Time/Warner Company) has seen fit to impose new restrictions. If you want to access their service as a pre-defined location, you must enter your AOL screen name. Its yet another way corporations have reared their evil head to reduce the freedom of the internet. Rather than removing the location entirely, I'll leave it to your option to play their game. If you don't have or don't want to get a screen name, here's a way to cheat. Use "trackpics" as your screen name and "trackinfo" as the password. It is real slow to authenticate. Many of the pictures I have directed you to have now gotten garbled by their system, zooming and centering functions do not work and if you try to go to a new location, it continues to take you back to the original angle of your first request. This is not my fault, Mapquest is falling apart. To get a map to the location, just go to the street map option on each Mapquest page and back out to show more area.

I have added many pictures of the tracks as I get around (though I also see many at night). If you click on some of the pictures you'll see a bigger view or a source for more angles. If you have a picture that effectively shows a track, please send it or a link to me.

I am also adding a listing of the locations of DIRT tracks by county, then city. Not all counties are covered--I haven't been everywhere, nor have I taken the time to type all I know yet. I haven't taken the detailed notes as I have for the All Weather Tracks, but since I know where so many are, I have posted the information to impart what I do know. Feel free to supplement. See the link just after the county name.

Press here to return to the index.

Most tracks have to accomodate high school and/or collegiate meets and are marked metricly but some were constructed in imperial distances and use offset lines to calibrate. For people who are unfamiliar with the standard markings on a track, I have created my explanation of those marks, with a tour of one well marked track and a separate page for hurdle marks. According to the high school rule book, a painted line is acceptable for high school competition, so that explains why so many high schools fail to have a legal (USATF Rule 62--2" raised curb) track for youth, collegiate, open or masters competition. Unfortunately by USATF rules, you have to have the curb and comply with all the other specifications of a meet to set a record. So if you intend anyone to set a record at your meet, get a curb. In regards to this curb question I have been given several explanations. First, most of the major manufacturers seem to be talking their clients OUT of installing a curb. Their expressed excuses (that I will rebut) are 1) that curbs are a liability issue; 2) that the metal in the curbs are a target for thieves to recycle and 3) that curbs effect drainage. 1) might be true, but curbs exist on open public tracks all over the place, almost all high school dirt tracks have solid, raised concrete curbs, and have never been a liability issue in those cases. Many tracks have what would be legal curbs on the outside of the track, where it is unimportant. If it is an issue for a track with a removable metal curb, remove it when necessary (see San Francisco State where they use the stadium for graduation right after track season) then replace it. 2) is just stupid. Look at how many tracks have metal curbs and how many of them have been stolen? There are more tracks that make the loose metal available by removing the railings and storing them in the open (and I will note, the ones I see leaving the metal railings piled up but still aren't having them stolen, the railings just aren't doing the job they were purchased for. If it is an issue, you do not need to use metal in the curb, only the dimensions and location are specified, not the material. Concrete is common. 3) again is just stupid. Who cannot figure out how to build concrete to allow drainage--I see curbs with breaks for drainage on many dirt tracks. If a broken curb doesn't work for your aesthetic, stick little pipes through the concrete at track level. I have been contacted by a manufacturer who installs a drainage system that looks like it will work well with a track. See their website at sportsedge.net. Before you build a track wrong, meaning without following proper specifications, please get in touch with me so I can offer some suggestions.

Arizona and Oregon information welcome.

Tracks in the U.K.

Tracks in Spain

Coming Soon

These facilities are known to have organized efforts to raise funds for an all-weather track (listed in no particular order). With the new popularity in the plastic "fake grass" (as I call them) fields, all-weather tracks are being included in the budgets. The synthetic fields are getting popular because of the lower upkeep, so some of the gardeners that have been flooding many of our tracks might be out of work. Unfortunately most districts don't do maintenence on their tracks except for (the track coach insisting they make) an attempt at cleaning it up at the start of track season. The best thing that happens in track is that when one school gets one, the one across town has to keep up, in competitive advantact and the status symbol. Of course schools generate revenue from football, we can only hope track will. Please let me know if you see progress at these or any other facilities.

Wasco High School, Wasco (Kern County)

Progress Park, Paramount (L.A. County)

Feather River College (Plumas County)

King High School, Riverside

Borego Springs High School (east San Diego County)

Fortuna Union Elementary School (Humboldt County)

Pajaro Valley High School (new school built but no sign of any track December 2005, Watsonville, Santa Cruz County)

Santa Cruz High School, Memorial Stadium (no sign of progress December 2005)

Mission Hills Middle School (Soquel, Santa Cruz County)

Harbor High School (Seaside, Monterey County)

Ridgeview Sports Complex, Napa (Napa County)

Benicia High School (Solano County)

Al Patch Park, Vacaville (Solano County)

Westmont College (Montecito, Santa Barbara County) Under construction April 2008

All five Fremont High School District (Cupertino/Sunnyvale, Santa Clara County) High Schools: Homestead already has one, so that means Fremont, Cupertino, Lynbrook and Monta Vista High Schools (still unbudgeted February 2006)

Hillsdale High School, San Mateo (San Mateo County)

Aragon High School, San Mateo (San Mateo County)

Mills High School Millbrae (San Mateo County)

Capuchino High School, San Bruno (San Mateo County)

Terra Nova High School, Pacifica (San Mateo County)

Children's Memorial Park, Las Vegas, NV

Pahrump High School (Nye County), NV

If you see activity at these or any other tracks, please send me an e-mail.

It appears the race is on, which county will complete ALL their tracks as All-Weather first. Santa Barbara County is close, but Ventura County is moving rapidly. Fresno County and Monterey County are soon to become contenders And now with the San Jose School District finishing their tracks, Santa Clara County is moving up.

Markings:

If you don't know what all the lines on your track mean, I have prepared an instructional set of pages to discuss what each line should mean and hopefully will provide you some guidelines to translating what you see at a particular track. I've also done it as a pictorial tour of the Cal State Northridge track. And have made a special page to discuss hurdle marks.

Editorial:

In my visits around the state, I've seen many tracks locked up behind several layers of fencing. Obviously people care about the longevity of their investment in a quality running surface. But that shouldn't be at the expense of the runners (just the runners, keep the wheels out) who want to use it for legitimate purposes. I'll commend those tracks that have devised systems to let runners in, usually by making us squeeze through some contraption. Many are as simple as a chain just barely wide enough for a distance runner sized person to fit through--Football Sized sprinters/throwers and the like (who would also be the least likely to climb the fence) are still out of luck. A quality track should be there for the use of the people it was designed for and most will treat it with the respect it should be accorded. You'll get less vandalism to a track if those kind of people are there watching it while using it, than if nobody would be there to protect it from those with ill intent (who usually can figure out how to get in anyhow).

A break or crack in the surface is the beginning of the end. Once the seal is broken, the adhesion to the lower surface gets disrupted. If it reaches to anything organic, it will encourage something to grow there, grass and weeds do not help the surface. So you need to keep the integrity of the surface. If a hole appears, patch it immediately. The folks at Zaino seem to be connected with many repair jobs I have heard of.

As far as wear and tear on a track, yes the spikes do cause wear, but flats are not that abusive at all. Before you ban your local "jolly" joggers from the track, look at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco--they fanatically don't allow spikes but hundreds of runners crowd the lanes every evening and throughout the day (perhaps the most used track in the state). By the standards on this list Kezar is an older track (built in 1989) but aside from being a bit dirty, it looks like it is new. Most observers will also clearly be able to see that the first wear spot in most tracks is just behind the starting lines for sprint races. The long spikes that hold starting blocks are the culprit. They are tough to maintain (so I haven't seen these used in over a decade), but for the longevity of your track I'll recommend installing a couple of long spike holes to hold blocks in place.

Speaking of watching the track, several facilities let their own groundskeepers do more permanent, long term damage. I'm speaking of the dirt and grass they allow to build up on the tracks. I'm told dirt is very destructive because small particles of dirt permeate the adhessive in the tracks. Many of these surfaces breethe, by design. Dirt, if present, is sucked into the subsurface where it sticks to the adhessive (thus breaking down the adhesion). Result: the track stops sticking to the pavement below and you get bubbles or worse, parts falling off. Add to that; poorly designed and maintained sprinkler systems. Most of these unattended sprinklers do their dirty deeds in the wee hours of the morning, so only the results are visible. Granted these rubberized surfaces are supposed to be water resistant, but getting flooded every night is not good for them (water can be the harshest destructive agent around). You can see the damage. And many of the worst offenders have high fences to keep interested parties (including their own staff I suppose) from seeing just what damage they are doing. I'll complain about some of the installations too, there should not be the major puddle areas that are built in to several of these new all-weather tracks. I've seen many dirt tracks getting the same bad treatment, causing ruts or mud bogs that again make them poor or hazardous places for runners to use. During track season, those same facilities have to spend extra, hard to find money to grade their tracks for use because of the neglect the rest of the year. Sometimes the coach has to do the landscaping to make up for the neglect by the professionals. I've even seen the sprinklers completely flood a track merely hours after a track was fixed for a meet.

The simple message, take care of our tracks. I can't preach my message everywhere. If you see such a condition at your local facility or happen to be in contact with the coaches or groundskeepers at the listed facilities, please let them know their sprinklers are ruining their facility. A little attention could make things better for all of us using these tracks. I don't mean to offend the track people at these locations, I just hope to affect change for the future good of those facilities and the people who use them.

If you are interrested or planning to install a track, I'm always available to throw my two cents worth in. You'll note I have credited the manufacturers of the tracks whenever possible--I'll let you judge for yourself the quality and longevity of their products. I'm not in the business of selling these installations, so I am an unbiased opinion. What I will emphasize is to start with a good sub-surface. You need to accomodate the specific conditions below your track (I'm told a deep sand base is best). You will want to do a good geologic survey of what you are building on. Then the paving (usually done by local companies) needs to be done to standards well in excess of normal highway construction. Most local paving companies are surprised or frustrated by these requirements.. Your budget will tell you to scrimp, but you can't scrimp here. You are putting in this huge investment and you want it to last--I can point to numerous cases where a poor job done here has ruined potentially great facilities--you don't want to find this out five to ten years from now. And build (I suggest overbuild) sufficient access--conduits to the infield. You cannot go back and add these later. Even when done during a resurface, the repair is noticibly inferior to a proper surface (leaving dips in the running surface).

The State of California is making grants to help fund projects like these through the Waste Tire Track and Other Recreational Surfacing Grant Program. Visit their website at http://www.ciwmb.ca.gov/Tires/Grants/TrackSurface/
The deadline for 2004 Grants is in February, so get your proposal together quickly.

A lot of what you need to know to install a track is included in the guidelines of the USTC&TBA. See them at:
http://www.ustctba.com/page.php?id=14&from%5B%5D=11&

Manufacturers/Installers:
Atlas (800) 423-5875
California Track and Engineering (559) 432-9152 californiatracks@att.net
Mondo (888) 966-6369 or (800) 962-5334
Ocean Marker Sports Surfaces (877) 530-6430
Spectra Turf (800) 875-5788

Tartan-APS (951) 273-7984

Zaino (714) 744-1885, FAX (714) 744-2877

And let me disclaim, on behalf of all these companies, that many (poor, from my Track and Field perspective) decisions and installations were made by other parties involved. Budget, short sighted School Administrators, football oriented Athletic Directors, cheap Contractors and shoddy paving and concrete companies can all be responsible for poor results. I add new companies to and subtrasct others from the list as I find new information. There are even some poor projects that I criticize in the listings. I don't necessarily suggest you BLAME the company doing the installation, the situation could be that they took on poorly conceived projects. That is why I try to encourage all parties to think of this investment clearly, including the Track and Field perspective (and my 2¢ worth on that is always available).

Your facility will be here for decades, please do it right the first time, then take proper care of it and don't screw it up once you do get it right. Such simple concepts as to build the track in metric lengths (required for all levels of our sport), with a proper curb (so the track qualifies for records at all levels beyond high school), and with access for the public to both use and protect (yes, protect) this resource.

Each of these mistakes have been made recently--while 440 yard tracks were standard before the 1970's, all official races are measured in meters and multiples of 400 meters that 400 meters is THE proper length to build your track. A 2" curb is necessary to for any records (other than high school) to count, so outside youth groups and adult groups will be unable or unwilling to use a track without a proper curb--yet most schools can't seem to look beyond their immediate school needs and build these tracks that are useless to outside competitive events. And speaking of public use, so many schools spend so much money building these resources that the next thing the build is a large fence to prevent the public from using the facility. First consider, legally, where that money came from--taxpayers, members of the community. Second, consider those with bad intent for your track--they will have no problem scaling your fences (no matter how high you build them) and once inside they can vandalize with impunity. If members of the public are there, possible even at 3 a.m., there is a constant source of local, free security (or witnesses). I am an old man and with a little determination I still have not been prevented by any fence from getting into any track with my camera--imagine what an agile teenager with a spraycan could do to your fences--the only people you are keeping out are the responsible adults who need the exercise.

Poorly Maintained, frequently flooded, All Weather Tracks (some of this information may be old, I hope they've fixed the problems)
Allen Hancock College (repeat offender)
Cal Poly, Pomona (repeat offender, even after installing a new surface required because they destroyed the old one)
Mira Costa College (they might have improved this situation)
Newark High School (multiple-repeat offender)
Rocklin High School
San Jose PAL Stadium
San Jose State University
University of LaVerne (repeat offender)
I just took MacAteer High School of San Francisco off the list, the track was dry on my last visit (for the first time)

Dirt Tracks: These are some of the worst offenders, as conditions were when I visited. As I return, I notate the repeat offenders and I remove the ones that didn't have the same gross problems.

Arlington High School, Riverside (repeat offender)
Bellflower High School (multiple repeat offender) When visited them again it still had a huge puddle. More recently during track season they had improved a little, but there was not a single lane on the track that was not muddy from the sprinklers the night before. Those same sprinklers were just starting up that night and had not yet reached the track when I saw them.
Belmont High School, Los Angeles (multiple repeat offender) Worse than my last visit--apparently flooding on this track is so common, neighborhood joggers use plywood bridges to step over the immense flood zones. Even during track season--during a track meet, they had dried it out but the damage was beyond repair.
Bishop Montgomery, Torrance (repeat offender) Always puddles in lane 1
Bonita Vista High School, Chula Vista Sprinklers going out to lane 5.
Chatsworth High School, Los Angeles Puddles in lane one.
Crespi Carmelite High School, Encino (repeat offender) Better, but still showed signs of repeated damage.
Damien High School Their lawnmower must be possessed, they sprayed lawn clippings so much it burried the inner two lanes of the track, no curb was visible anywhere.
Eagle Rock High School, Los Angeles Managed to have lane 1 under water the entire circumference when I visited.
Fairfax High School, Los Angeles Several spots of full width flooding
Francis Poly High School, Los Angeles Three spots of full width flooding
Frazier Mountain High School, Gorman A relatively new high school, so obviously the facilities are also relatively new. I will concede they have snow at this elevation for portions of the year. That does not excuse letting the weeds grow across several lanes. The garbage cans and soccer benches look like a permanent fixture on the track. I can only assume the puddles to be part of the regular mess that I saw mid-summer.
John Glenn High School, Norwalk (repeat offender) Was flooded, under water the full width when I visited it the first time, it was better the next time but still is poorly cared-for despite being locked behind two fences. During track season it was better but still showed signs of the damage.
Katella High School One whole end of the track was flooded full width.
Lompoc High School (repeat offender) This is the worst example of both problems: When I saw it last, the sprinklers were watering just the track (turning it into a mud bog). They were so screwed up they missed the grass completely. Of course, nobody could get in there to do anything about it, the track is surrounded by a 12 foot barb wire fence. While I was there, I asked around. Apparently they were flooding the football field during the winter rains, to solve that (rather than just changing the sprinkler programming) they turn the sprinklers onto the track deliberately to keep the excess water off the football field.
L.A. Harbor College (multiple repeat offender) After ruining the length of their track--see below, they apparently don't care about flooding it, large portions were mud.
Monrovia High School Apparently a perrenial huge puddle on the north turn. They dried it out during track season but the residual damage was still noticible.
Mt. Carmel High School, San Diego (repeat offender)

North High School, Riverside
A big puddle in lane 1 during track season. I also have to wonder about a place that has marked, staggered relay passing zones on the home stretch--trackos think about it. And these were the State Champions.
Norwalk High School They use the track to dump their yard waste.
Ramona High School, Riverside Big fences protect a poorly attended-to track.
San Dimas High School Used to be a nice place now trenched from excessive water runoff.

Santiago High School, Garden Grove
Baseball is the sport here. In addition to flooding the track, they store their baseball bleachers on the track.
Tustin High School Lots of mud and bicycle tracks hardened into what was recently mud.
Villa Park High School Repeat offender, my most recent visit showed the signs of six separate flood zones, several that cross the entire track.

The All-Weather tracks with noticible poor drainage (and I've only seen a few after intense rain, so there are certainly others) are:
Ambassador College, Pasadena (most of the track floods)
Gunn High School, Palo Alto (north end of home stretch, fortunately not blocking the main running surface)

I'll continue on this theme: Many facilities use the tracks as a place to store things. I've seen bleachers, soccer/football benches, soccer goals/baseball backstops, garbage cans/yard waste/piles of dirt, vehicles, stairs and even portable classrooms and construction offices stored on tracks--many with little regard for where they are parked. Some examples:
Santa Barbara High School and
Stanford Stadium both sacrifice lanes on all weather surfaces in order to have steps down to the track.
Littlerock High School had a picnic bench and two sets of bleacher seats on the track, apparently to watch the long jump pit.
Santiago High School, Garden Grove seems to permanently place baseball/softball bleachers on the track, in addition to flooding the inner lanes.
Wilson High School, Los Angeles positions their portable theatrical stage not on the chute or outside of a turn but on lane one in the middle of the straightaway of their track so its the center of the amphitheater which serves double duty as the football stands. Watch for huge power cables and ramps across the track.

In general, most dirt tracks at Colleges and High Schools are well treated (though some are neglected until track season and fall out of repair after the last meet). Some junior high schools have tracks, though most are in poor condition and/or are constructed under less than perfect conditions (I assume at lower cost--I've run on several that are just marked on the grass). Here's a list of the good ones.

The softest, dustiest (high school or collegiate--I won't count some of the poor Junior High Schools track I've seen is at:
Paramount High School Its like soft powder all the way around.
Advanced Technologies Academy in Las Vegas, one of only two dirt tracks I've found in Las Vegas, is also a dust bowl.
Burroughs High School, Burbank was dangerous while they piled new, dusty track surface material, without grading it, on their track at the start of 2001. At the time it was more like a BMX bicycle course than a track. They have since graded it.
Jefferson Middle School, Oceanside deserves mention because it has the biggest hill (yes, a noticible rise of several feet).

There are also some strange situations in place of a track that I've discovered. The Los Angeles Unified School District (due to space limitations I must assume) have several square tracks, some not proper distance (400 meters or 440 yards):
Hollywood High School
Manual Arts High School (not proper distance--notes below)
John Marshall High School (not proper distance--notes below)
the one at San Pedro High School has been removed and was replaced with a new, normal shaped all-weather track
South Gate Junior High School has put in a, new in 2000, square all weather track. also:
Beverly Hills High School (mentioned above--not part of L.A.U.S.D.) also has a square track, recently made all-weather.
Chadwick School, Rolling Hills Estates recently installed a new, 4 lane, square all weather track that is about 320 yards. They have no room to make it longer or rounder.
Riordan High School, San Francisco is an imperial, all-weather, square track
Woodland Park Middle School, San Marcos is almost perfectly square, 4 equal length straightaways
Lincoln High School, Los Angeles is somewhat squared off
L.A. Trade Tech (JC) is also somewhat squared-off
St. Joseph's, Santa Maria is both semi-squared and short
La Salle High School, Pasadena is a new all-weather 352m, squared track.

Several have broken back or multiple radius turns, including
Atascadero High School (AW)
California Baptist College, Riverside
Ocean View High School, Huntington Beach
Ribet Academy, Los Angeles (Glassel Park area) (AW) Unrunable turns, also only 330.3 meters.
Royal High School (AW)
Washington High School, San Francisco(AW)
And the four in Las Vegas:
Clark High School(AW)
Chaparall High School(AW)
Rancho High School(AW)
Western High School(AW)

Other strange situations and explanations:

Las Vegas Academy (downtown Las Vegas) had a short track that went under the corner of a building. The track has now been removed (see also the other Las Vegas notes above)
Rancho San Antonio (Boys School) apparently used to have a proper length 2 lane track but they built a fence in the way and diverted the track the long way around through two openings in the fence Its hard to see what I mean here but the track goes south of the tree line on the south side of the picture. There is a right turn to get there (the gap at the south end) and another right turn to get back into the north turn.
Loma Linda University has a two lane dirt path, marked by rocks as a poor excuse for a running track (it used to be about 400m, but has been shortened to make more room for a soccer field)
Pt. Mugu Naval Air Station has a half mile track that has an internal cut off for a quarter mile distance
Flamson Junior High School (formerly Paso Robles High School) in Paso Robles paved over the track and made it a still runable path around the fenced football field.
Emery High School (San Pablo Ave. and 47th St.) in Emeryville You have got to see the shape of this one. This is an all-weather track with a right turn and an odd angle in it, I kid you not. See what I mean Additional notes above.
Bishop Montgomery High School, Torrance has just over half a track, one turn, one straightaway, part of a curve with the theoretical remainder of the curve passing through the dirt infield of the baseball field. The other straightaway cuts across the right field grass. See what I mean.
Campbell Hall in Studio City was similar. They now have installed a multi-use fake grass field, so the one turn now runs into a gate. If the gate is open it now runs off into left field of their baseball diamond or the football end zone. Instead, they store the football bleachers on the remains of the track. See what I mean.
Orange Lutheran High School, Orange apparently once had a 300 meter track. They tore up more than half of it replacing it with a wider parking lot that sloped into where the track used to be. Now they have constructed a new All Weather but because of size limitations its a weird one. 4 lanes with different kinds of turns to accommodate other sports. See what I mean.

Woodbury University, Burbank
once had a track--3/4 of the remnants remain neglected, minus the curb. They tore out the curb and one end of the track to build tennis courts and to make the field better for soccer. This is a private college so this isn't as much a community resource destroyed. I just can't see why they couldn't have moved the new construction a few yards north of the track and left the facility rather than destroying it. See what I mean.
Golden Gate Park Polo Field, San Francisco had a large track around the grounds, with a smaller quarter mile dirt running track with chutes on the opposite axis inside.

A few tracks oddly run behind stadium bleachers:
El Cerrito High School
El Segundo High School
Helix High School, La Mesa
Notre Dame High School, Sherman Oaks (now AW)
Riverside City College
Riverside Poly High School
University High School, West Los Angeles

A couple run UNDER the stadium bleachers:
Buena Park High School
South Gate High School

And a few build their stadium bleachers onto the (dirt) track during football season:
Diamond Bar High School (though their bleachers were down by the flag pole, away from mid-field)
Jefferson High School, Los Angeles
Oak Park High School, Agoura Hills
Rim of the World, Lake Arrohead expands their stands onto the track

Riordan High, San Francisco (roll stands out for baseball or football and store some on the chute of the backstretch)
Roosevelt High School, East Los Angeles
St. Paul High School, Baldwin Park
Templeton High School (though lane 1 is usually passable)
Valley Christian High School, San Jose (roll away stands in the outer lanes on backstretch)

Several tracks are close, but are apparently not the proper distance including:
Ambassador College, Pasadena (293.3 yards==six laps to a mile, all weather)
Bosco Tech, Rosemead
Brookhurst Junior High School, Anaheim (400 yards, with the 440 start marks clearly marked)
Buchser Middle School (formerly Santa Clara High School), Santa Clara
Buckley School, Sherman Oaks (crossing the infield of the baseball field)
Buttonwillow High School (very narrow turns)
Capri School, Leucadia (a 400y, sand mired, square track at an elementary school)
Carpinteria Junior High School (end of the track cut off)
Cathedral High School, Los Angeles is about 325 meters (cascading 400 start is back in the 100 chute, common finish is in the middle of the straightaway)
Chadwick School, Palos Verdes was redone in 2000 as a square track then in 2005 was done again as All-Weather, still marked with calibrated tabs on the inner curb
Chaminade High School, West Hills (mentioned above) is 373.6 meters, all-weather and is marked (with cascading start lines and zones) accordingly
Chualar School All Weather, square and short
Coronado High School They just didn't have enough room for more
Crespi Carmelite High School, Encino is about 375 meters (lane 5 is 2 feet short of a perfect 400)
El Rio del Valle Middle School, Oxnard (very narrow turns)
Fairburn Elementary School, Westwood-Los Angeles (All Weather, triangular and very short)
La Salle High School has built a square 343.185 meter all weather track
Lincoln High School, Los Angeles has a marked start for the 440 just onto the straightaway, but the finish line is poorly marked near the drinking fountain--as best I can determine
Lincoln Middle School, Santa Monica is 400 yards
Manual Arts High School, Los Angeles (400 yard square track, the 400m start is marked about 40 yards before the finish line)
John Marshall High School, Los Angeles (a square track, the 440 start is marked as the turn starts)
McClymonds High School, Oakland (mentioned above) is 370 meters, all-weather and is marked accordingly
Oak Crest Middle School, Encinitas (about 400y)
Oakland Technical High School is also about 370 or 380 meters, all-weather and is marked accordingly
Ribet Academy has installed a sharp turned, multi-radius 330.3 meter all weather track
Rio Mesa High School, Oxnard (mentioned above) is about a foot shorter than 400 meters and is an all-weather track marked with a wide white line in the west turn to compensate.
Roosevelt High School, Los Angeles (has marked the 440 start near the mouth of the chute)
St. Bernard's High School, Playa Del Rey who knows how long this one is
St. Francis, La Canada they have just added a new fake grass infield and all weather track, with 400 start marked down the straightaway
St. Joseph's High School Santa Maria (a square track, the 440 start is marked near the middle of the straightaway)

Again I have to editorialize. Carpinteria J.H.S. once a had decent, properly measured track. Some genius had to move a fence a couple of feet to build a parking lot and in the process destroyed a once valuable asset to the community. Then they tried to make good by continuing a new, shorter leg back to the other side--all measurement thrown aside. It's like they (fail to) think, "who cares how long a lap is?" Just a little thought could have avoided this unnecessary destruction. We have to let administrators learn that a track is a community resource, NOT an available, unused piece of land. L.A. Harbor College did the same thing and received my criticism, but to their credit, they have now installed a proper, all weather track.
See Mapquest aerial photo of of Carpinteria Damage.

And several tracks have wide turns and short (less than 80m) straightaways including:
Ball Middle School, Anaheim
Bell Gardens Intermediate School
Beverly Hills High School (AW, squared)
Cuyamaca College (AW, mentioned above)
El Cerrito High School
El Segundo High School
Fresno Pacific University (AW)
Glendale High School (AW)
La Paz Intermediate School, Mission Viejo
Long Beach Poly High School
Los Angeles High School
Los Gatos High School (AW)
Moor Field, Alhambra
Occidental University (AW)
Oxnard College (AW)
Piedmont High School (AW)
Riordan High School, San Francisco (AW, Squared)
Royal High School, Simi Valley (AW, broken back)
Santa Barbara High School (AW/asphalt)
Servite High School, Anaheim (AW)
Sycamore Middle School, Anaheim
UCLA (AW)
Wilcox High School, Santa Clara
Willowbrook Middle School, Compton
Woodland Park Middle School, San Marcos (is so square it has four almost equal length straightaways)

Some seem to have exceptionally long straightaways (and thus narrow turns--see also Las Vegas):
Archbishop Mitty High School, San Jose (AW)
Huntington Park High School
Leuzinger High School, Lawndale (AW)
Loyola High School, Los Angeles (AW)
Modesto College (AW)
Serra High School, Gardena (AW)
Salinas High School (AW)
Santa Monica High School (AW)

Clark High School, Las Vegas (AW, broken back)
Chaparall High School, Las Vegas (AW, broken back)
Rancho High School, Las Vegas (AW, broken back)
Western High School, Las Vegas (AW, broken back)

A few locations have tracks that are not (or are no longer) associated with traditional educational facilities that you would expect (the names might not be perfectly correct on any of this page, I do the best I can) including:
Arniel Ranch Park, Camarillo (its just a city park, no school nearby)
Aviation Park (the former Aviation High School) Redondo Beach
Blackford High School, San Jose (the school is currently closed, about to reopen I'm told, the track is open though poorly maintained)
Bucaneer Stadium (formerly Campbell High School) Campbell (now All Weather)
Cubberly Field (formerly Cubberly High School), Palo Alto
Kezar Stadium, San Francisco (S.E. Corner of Golden Gate Park) (Mondo All Weather, spikes not permitted)
L.A. School of Chiropractic
L.A. Sheriff's Academy (near Whittier in unincorporated L.A. County)
Milpitas Athletic Complex (the former Samuel Ayer High School), Milpitas
Norwalk/La Mirada Educational Center (formerly Excelsior High School)
Old Oxnard High School (now a Police Athletic League facility)

Rancho Cienega Park (an All Weather track in a city park, next to Dorsey High School that has its own dirt track)
San Jose P.A.L. Stadium (once was All Weather, now it is a poorly maintained mess partial pavement with muddy ruts and potholes)
Sierra Educational Center (near Whittier)

Some of these are not regulation distance including:
Liberty Park, Cerritos

* My Personal Challenge: Currently I am working on improving my lifetime average for the best times run on all tracks I have ever run on, mostly these tracks. I don't run these slowly (O.K., its not slow to me). I'm enough of a nut about this that I have brought the average of my fastest lap times on each of these 800 plus official length tracks to significantly under 65 seconds. I've actually been so successful, if you include just the fastest 600 tracks I'm now under 63.5. Its all computerized. The first time I calculated the average, it worked out to just over 75 and that was well after I started to learn what I could do. As I run out of tracks I previously ran slow on, the job gets harder--there are no longer any accessable tracks I've run slower than 68 on within 100 miles of where I pass regularly. There is a certain truth to this, you've got to do the work--400 meters is too long of a run to cheat at, even if my hand timing (to the 100/th, which I realize is not relevant but I do it anyhow) is slightly advantageous. It doesn't require finding any painted lines (though I prefer running lanes when marked--they are usually in better conditon than lane 1), I just finish at the same place I started--marked by anything from a tennis ball to my shirt or shoes. I also know I run faster when I can see where I am going, but still much of this has been done in darkness, late at night when I have the time. 400 has only recently become "my" distance, with a Personal Record of only 53 (and that set over 25 years ago), I don't possess superior abilities. This has been beneficial to my training and I'll recommend having a silly challenge like this as a target to make you run faster workouts. And there is nothing better to wake you up on the road than to go out and sprint for a little over 60 seconds. For most of the time I've been running tracks, I thought I couldn't run too fast in workouts (I've suffered many a backlash after running the first interval too fast), so many tracks were run at first, sub-90 pace then more recently sub-80 pace. Since that made me work what I thought was hard, I thought I better not push too much or I couldn't do the next repeat as fast (though I also had many good times from competition on good all-weather tracks). Then I had the revelation when I was in San Diego without the right shoes in the car. I ran extra hard to compensate. I ran at four tracks that day, all under 72 on lousy dirt tracks . Painful as it was, I discovered I could still survive the workout running these at something close to full throttle (I could get a little over 20 minutes rest driving to the next track).

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The Top Ten These are not much of a secret and no real surprises. Rather than missing a good facility, lets just say the major universities have this catagory dominated, add Kezar Stadium in San Francisco and Balboa Stadium in San Diego (which is technically San Diego High School and CC). Many JC's and most High Schools fail to install a proper curb, which negates their ability to be used as a proper facility. Stanford's facilities are excellent so I am astounded they built the quality facility finishing to the west, slowing every sprinter who races there. On the other hand, I am searching for a track that contains every standard aparatus and mark done correctly (by the rule book) without a quirk or local adjustment with an explanation required. Where is the perfect track facility?

The Bottom Ten. These are the worst tracks I've seen in California, rated by the apparent neglect, inconsistency of the surface and obvious need for repair. I am trying to be diplomatic here, I am not listing poor tracks here just because they are old, but because they are in a state of disrepair or are bad for the runners who use them. As I look at the list, I certainly dislike badly done repairs.

1. San Jose P.A.L. Stadium The is in such bad condition the surface was unrecognizable. Most of the all-weather surface (that wasn't much more than painted asphalt to begin with--I can't feel any rubber in the pieces that chip away, the only soft part was the thin layer of paint) has been broken through so it is a mess of mud and broken pavement. Unsafe, unusable.
2. Palomar College, San Marcos Worn out so most lane lines are invisible. Lane one is down to pavement. Lane two and part of lane three (which has a seam about a foot into the lane) are relatively thin though worn rubber asphalt and the outer lanes apparently older surface is badly cracked. They are aware of the problems, signs warn of the danger and paint marks some of the problem spots.
3. Cypress College Most of the lane lines are worn off. Little cunks of rubber come off on your shoes. Several places are worn through to pavement.
4. Solano Community College, Suisun City Badly neglected, the surface has disintegrated into powder in many spots around the track. The inner lane (with soccer benches and garbage cans) is overgrown with weeds. Lane lines imperceptible in many sections of the track.
5. Allen Hancock College, Santa Maria They resurfaced it in the mid 90's. Since then, the new surface has again worn away, the lane lines and finish line are invisible. The finish area is in the same condition as Cypress College with loose flecks of rubber coming off on your shoes (though the coach recently swept it off to try to use the track for the team).
6. Grossmont College This was ruined by a school that doesn't care about track at all. They deliberately slurry sealed (an asphalt layer) over the All Weather surface. The new surface doesn't stick well to the rubber below, so in addition to having the feel of pavement, it has the stability of a gopher tunnel in some places.
7. Southwestern College, Chula Vista The inner lane lines have disappeared. Outer lane lines are slowly fading. A 50 yard section of the backstretch is missing all lane lines, obviously from being flooded every night.
8. San Jose State University This was one of the first and one of the best All-Weather tracks in the world. Due to outright aggressive destruction (well beyond accidental damage), this great track barely survives its hostile environment--the attitude of the management of this facility (my Alma Mater). They treat it as though it is a nuisance. Not only do they use it as a parking lot, these idiots have painted parking lines on the Tartan track surface. Sections have been plowed by heavy equipment, some portions are just plain missing. Runways have overgrown, the curb, bleachers and other field event facilities have been removed. But still the now almost 40 year-old track survives despite the abuse it is getting-a good reference for the original Tartan process.
9. St. Mary's High School, Berkeley This was already at a disadvantage because it is a weird, triangular shaped track. That is not why it is being criticized. The condition of the surface, pock marked with repairs and cracks is just no good any longer.
10. Elsie Allen High School, Santa Rosa This is loaded with cracks, the subsurface is apparently breaking apart and taking the track with it.

I have to note that the majority of this list is made up of Junior Colleges (three from San Diego County alone). In the 1960's, '70's and possibly into the 80's, the local Junior College was the best track around most areas (unless there was a quality university nearby). Almost every JC in California (in existence in the 1960's) had an almost standard-issue rubber asphalt track. Some still exist and haven't been repaired or maintained in years. Wherever I have been over the years, I've always had a nearby "home" track that I practiced on regularly. Two of those tracks have made the Bottom 10. While I am insulted, I do think their inclusion on the list is well justified.

With some of the repairs noted below, it is nice to have to think harder to add to the list here. Some possible new candidates would be the paved and hard tracks like Santa Maria High School, Alvarado Intermediate School or Santa Barbara High School. While those are poor track surfaces to run and practice on, they are just poor, old designs and not due to neglect or disrepair.

Future candidates:
Some recently built tracks are already showing excessive wear, like
Valley Center-Escondido
Santa Clara High School
Compton High School
Agoura High School

Older tracks that have been pocked by cracks and repairs:
Dunn School-Los Olivos
Hanford High School
Quartz Hill High School-Lancaster
Riordan High School-San Francisco
Santa Rosa CC
University of LaVerne
Walnut High School
Washington High School-San Francisco

There are some potentially old Rubber Asphalt tracks I have not personally seen yet that could be worn out:
Eureka High School
Feather River College-Quincy
Lassen Community College-Susanville
Pacific Union University-Angwin
Yreka High School

I also have complaints about tracks that were not built properly to be capable of hosting a competition, like Emery High School, Ribet Academy, Southgate Junior High School and to a slightly lesser degree, Chadwick School. (I don't even include some tracks that were not built for competition in that list like Chualar, Fairburn, L.A. Police Academy, Ahmanson Training Center in such a list), but that was designed-in stupidity. Speaking of stupidity, there have been six or more (some tracks I haven't learned their installation date yet) Imperial All-Weather tracks built since 2000, King City High School, Mira Mesa High School-San Diego, Centennial High School-Compton, Dominguez High School-Compton, Homestead High School-Cupertino and Santa Clara High School--since we no longer compete in imperial distances (and haven't in over 30 years) those were stupid mistakes made by administrators who have no clue about our sport (and should have no business making decisions about it) but the running surfaces are generally good.

These former Bottom 10 dwellers have been removed from the list (and it is my goal in having this list to cause exactly such an effect): East L.A. College is now a new Mondo track in excellent condition. Compton High School has already installed a new surface (though even that is supposedly in disrepair). Cuesta College was completely redone. Cordova High School has been redone as an 8 lane track. Golden West College was also redone. Gilroy High School was completely redone. Roosevelt High School-Fresno was redone. Foothill College redid their track but omitted field event facilities (obviously with no intent of reviving their program. Santa Ynez High School just beat their incusion on this list. Righetti was on the edge of being included on the list, but they have completely redone their track. De Anza College was removed because the problems I documented previously, though still there, did not seem as severe on my latest visit. Cal Poly, Pomona was only removed because they redid the track, but they so far have failed to fix the problem that caused it to age excessively. The old Tartan surface was so badly flooded each night that lane lines faded (were washed) away. The new surface suffers the same abuse and will suffer the same fate if they don't stop doing it.

I will mention a few old (essentially) Asphalt tracks, in no particular order, here. These tracks should have had some rubber mixed into the material (30+ years ago when they were installed, or subsequently repaired) but I can't feel any spring to the surface now. Its nice to note the list is now short. Consider these tracks too hard to run on under most circumstances:

Alvarado Middle School
Los Angeles Police Academy
Flamson Middle School, Paso Robles
Santa Barbara High School
Santa Maria High School

I'll mention some of the tracks that are just plain old.

Sonoma State
College of the Sequoias

I will also point out a couple of badly neglected dirt tracks. These candidates tie for their neglect throughout most of the year, though I saw each of these did clean up their act as best possible for the track season. But for the repeated, horrendous flooding violations explained above, these deserve mention
Belmont High School, Los Angeles
John Glenn High School, Norwalk
Lompoc High School

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