Living Well – Missing the school’s old running track

Wayne Little writes a monthly column on fitness and motivation, and the occasional triathlon.

The track is what I called it. Others knew it as the pavement track behind the Ashcroft high school.  When I was a student at the high school, track and field teams would come from all over the area for track and field events. It’s where we did laps for warm ups and cool downs for PE. It’s where I have done literally hundreds of kms running laps. It’s the one place in town you could run, or walk and not have to be run dodging Trimac trucks or people texting while driving.

Unlike Kamloops and many other communities, that have paved trails where people can roller blade, run, walk or whatever unimpeded by cars, we don’t have that. Unless it was very early in the morning, there was always someone at the track with me. Whether it was the tri club banging off fast paced intervals, someone walking their dog, or that little old man walking around and around so fast he was pretty much running. It’s also somewhere you could tell exact how far you went, one lap around is 400m or 1/4 mile. So then you could tell your friends or family, “I walked 4km today”.

Well, I won’t be running at the track anymore. For those of you who don’t know, the school board decided to spend an unknown amount of dollars to dig out the pavement, and replace it with grass. You see, the track wasn’t perfect, it was the same pavement that I ran on when I was a student, so that gives you an idea of how old it was, 40+ years? It was cracked, had huge potholes, weeds going through it, and it was actual pavement, not cork or rubberized pavement like most tracks. It was an eyesore, and an accident waiting to happen. Someone was going to hurt and the school board could be held liable.  Ashcroft couldn’t have another track and field event, it would have been an embarrassment to use that track.

Regardless, I’m disappointed it’s gone. I wish I would have advocated to have the track replaced with some nice compound that’s smooth and springy to run on like the TCC in Kamloops has. Instead of running around the track I should have been applying for grants with the provincial or federal government to pay for it. I should have gotten a group  together with a petition or something to show we wanted it to stay. At one time, Maria Russell Martin from the Tennis club found out it would cost $250,000 to replace the track. That seems like a drop in the bucket compared to the millions it will cost to turn Ashcroft secondary into a K-12 school.

Oh well, the TCC is only a one hour drive away to do my intervals at their track. And always remember our slogan, “in Ashcroft, wellness awaits you!”

Wayne Little