• By Ellen O'Riordan on Mar 30, 2016

Track Record: Athletics Tracks in North West London

There is a rumour, that there is a very scientific reason that athletes run around the track in an anti-clockwise direction.  No, it is not because they are running against the clock, but is supposedly to do with the gravitational effects of the Earth’s rotation.  Running anti-clockwise will provide a slight advantage and result in a faster time.  Interestingly, in the Southern Hemisphere, the effect is reversed but the tradition is maintained; anti-clock and perhaps anti-wise.  There are other suggestions for the universal choice of direction, such as the placement of the heart on the left-hand side of the body or the traditions of the original Olympic games. However, the prospect of some greater force pulling you round the track is much more exciting than some Ancient Greek tradition.  So the next time you take to a North West London track, be hyper-aware of any push or pull sensations.  Perhaps try running in both directions to see if there is any difference.  Let us know of any significant findings and we’ll be sure to notify the renowned Gravity Board of Athletics.  Here is a list of some great facilities for you to undertake your research.

Willesden Sports Centre, Brent

The GLL facility features a 6 lane track of 400 metres along with an indoor 60-metre track, to save you on those rainy days.  Both tracks are well maintained with clear markings and even surfaces.

Opening Times:  Weekdays 6.30am-10pm, Saturdays 8am-6.30pm, Sundays 8am-9pm.

Sessions: Track Academy.

Contact:  willesden@1life.co.uk or 020 8955 1120

Parliament Hill Fields Athletics Track, Hampstead

With a 400m Olympic synthetic track comprised of 8 lanes and the light of God; floodlights.  There is also a 90m grass track available during the summer months at Hampstead Heath Extension.  There are also facilities for field events such as a long jump/ triple jump and hammer cage for shot-putting.   There are changing facilities with lockers and showers.

Opening Times: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 7.30am-4pm and 6pm-close; Wednesday 7.30am-9am, 1pm-5pm and 6pm-close; Friday and Saturday 7.30am-close; Sunday 7.30am-1pm and 2.30pm-4pm.

Sessions:  Evening training sessions.

Clubs:  Local athletics clubs.

Allianz Park Athletics Track, Hendon

Allianz Park enjoys a 400 metre 8-lane synthetic track.  The tracks are in excellent condition, suitable for elite level running.  During bad weather, you can take shelter and run on their 80-metre indoor track.

Opening Times: 9am-5pm Monday to Saturday, 10am-4pm on Sundays.

Sessions:  Children’s programmes run during term times on Tuesday and Thursdays.  To book email athletics@allianzpark.com.  

Clubs:  Home to two athletics club; Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers (an elite level club) and Barnet and District (runners of all abilities).

Price:  £4 entry fee or £22 monthly membership.

Contact:  info@allianzpark.com or 020 3675 7200

Brunel University Athletics Arena and Centre, Uxbridge

The University boasts a 400-metre synthetic porous track, floodlit for evening survival, and 6 lanes in breadth.  There are high, long and triple jump areas with nearby, but not too nearby, throwing facilities.  The 132-metre indoor track, also with 6 lanes, is located in the Athletics Centre.  There are hurdle facilities, 2 long/ triple jump pits, a pole vault area, high jump section and a 25 m

Opening Times:  The outdoor track is open Monday to Friday 7am-11pm and 9am-7pm on the weekends.  The indoor track has the same hours, except for closing an hour earlier each day.

Contact: 01895 265 608

Local venues

Jersey Gardens

St Marys Crescent Isleworth Middlesex TW7 4NA

St Mary's Tennis Club

Musgrave Road Isleworth Middlesex TW7 5EB

View more venues

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