Cinder Tracks

March 5, 2013
By

This time of year my mind wanders back to the days I had to get the old cinder track ready for a meet. It meant dragging the big cement roller over to the intermediate school from its storage location at the high school. The old tractor they had at that time usually would not start after a long winter, so I had that to fool with first. Then I had to find a safety hitch pin because the roller weighed a ton or more and could crush a car if it got loose as I was pulling it up the hill to Huntersville. Once I got to the track, the rolling usually was easy. Then it was time to line the track. I was too particular to let anyone else do it, and it was complicated so trying to explain it to someone who did not understand how to put in staggers took too long. You first put a string down to set a lane line and then take a one-hole spreader with its white marker and start down the straight away. Since they were 660 feet long, that was quite a chore to keep the line perfectly straight. Fortunately, it was hard to get a good straight look at the lines from the road so few saw how many bends the straight line had. Then you started around the curves, and this was almost impossible to do since you needed to keep the same width all around the curve. Most races did not require curve lines until the 300 meter hurdles came into play. Fortunately, Mr. Butt allowed me to purchase a multi-lane liner after a few years and this cut the time down drastically. This had its own challenges because it was a bear to pull over cinders and keep all the buckets working at the same rate. After you got all this done, it would rain!! Then you had to start over. It is a good thing I did not curse. Ha! Ha!

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