Wakefield Thornes and Tooting Bec athletics tracks

Athletics tracks are apparently much like children: intimidating as hell in the abstract, but unremarkable, even pleasant, individually.

A few weeks ago my planned track session coincided with a trip to Yorkshire and Wakefield Thornes track was the only viable option.  I sounded out my northern contacts.

“Can you just randomly turn up?  Is it likely to be heaving with finely honed athletic people?”

Fine to use and quiet through the day. Just roll up and pay at stadium” came the swift response.

Sure enough, I was the only person there, and Wakefield Thornes joined Kingsmeadow on my list of safe tracks.

Last week another track session appeared in my plan, and with Kingsmeadow closed for resurfacing I headed for Tooting Bec.  Deserted it was not.  A posse of finely honed teenagers were gathered on one of the straights fine-tuning their sprint technique; a well-muscled woman worked through a series of strength and conditioning exercises on the other straight overseen by her personal trainer; two men stood on the side of the track taking it in turns to do weird and wonderful things to a long piece of rope; and a group of assorted bods assembled on the infield to take part in a BMF-style boot camp.

For a split second I considered bailing out, but as the alternative to the track session was progressions (a format I loathe and detest) I opted to stay.  It turned out to be a good decision.  Watching the other groups at work gave me something to focus on other than how much longer the second half of each lap is than the first, and by the time the sprinters had finished their drills and moved onto their 200m reps, I was too absorbed by their training to be intimidated by the fact that they were running at twice my speed.

Safe tracks:  (1) Kingsmeadow; (2) Wakefield Thornes; (3) Tooting Bec.  I wonder how many more I need to add before I realise that tracks are as run-of-the-mill in theory as they’re proving to be in practice.


About abradypus

A Bradypus or Sloth am I, I live a life of ease, contented not to do or die but idle as I please; ... [Michael Flanders and Donald Swann]
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2 Responses to Wakefield Thornes and Tooting Bec athletics tracks

  1. zoeforman says:

    Not been rave enough to step on one yet 😵

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