St Albans' running track reopened after resurfacing work
PUBLISHED: 13:37 23 January 2019 | UPDATED: 13:47 23 January 2019
St Albans' only running track has reopened to the public following a £186,000 upgrade.
The Abbey View athletics track in Verulamium Park was closed for resurfacing in August 2018. Both the six-lane 400 metre track and the eight-line 100 metre section were resurfaced with a synthetic material to bring them up to championship standard.
An event area for field sports, including the high jump and pole vault, was also relaid.
The athletics track, which was opened in 1971, is owned by St Albans district council and managed on its behalf by leisure firm 1Life. The resurfacing cost £186,000 in total, with most of the money coming from section 106 payments under the Town and Country Planning Act.
Cllr Annie Brewster, the council’s portfolio holder for sport and culture and a former international athlete, said: “The city’s well used athletics facility certainly deserves this wonderful upgrade. It must rank as one of the most beautiful athletics track settings in the world.
“My very first memory of competing here was running on an unforgiving cinder track, so different from the fabulous new springy state-of-the-art synthetic surface that has just been completed.
“I’m very impressed with the work that has been done and delighted that the track is now open for the thousands of both competitive and fun athletes who will be enjoying it. I am hoping it may produce an Olympic champion of the future.”
St Albans Striders running club and St Albans Athletic Club use the track for training and club competitions, and it is used by schools for district sport events.
Last year, the track was also the stage for the final of Channel 5 show The UK’s Strongest Man, which will return in July.
Lynne Milner, chair and founder member of St Albans Athletic Club, said: “It’s been a long time coming, but we’re delighted to get our track back after its refurb.
“There are still a few finishing touches, but it’s great to be training again at Abbey View and we’re looking forward to the forthcoming athletic season.”
Some minor work on the track will take place in the spring, including alterations to the hammer-throwing area. Once this is complete an official opening will be organised.
To find out about opening hours and prices go to https://www.1life.co.uk/Abbey-View-Golf-and-Track-Facility/