Keep Turning Left

Located on the south end of Western Washington University, by the Wade King rec center, you can find a safe place to practice, condition, and train yourself and body.

As a student athlete, I don’t have to worry about any vehicles, poorly maintained roads/trails, or basically anything that could injure you. When I’m running, that’s the last thing I want to worry about, so the track is a nice place to go because both the track and the field are well maintained.

Being six lanes, it’s not your typical track,most outdoor tracks are eight lanes. There are other six lane tracks, though, most of them are indoor ones, not outdoor. One of the things that I really like is the fact that during our practice hours (2–6), it is closed to all non-varsity athletes. When it is open to the students of WWU, it is also open to everyone else, non-students and staff can use the track and infield. If you’re looking for a quiet, almost peaceful place to run, your best bet would be to go earlier in the morning while everyone’s still sleeping the morning away, or at night when everyone is hanging out with their friends, eating or doing homework. Any time in between, you will find yourself running or practicing with all other sorts of people, meaning loud and sort of packed. However, the track isn’t regulation size, to the NCAA standards, the track is too small to hold official meets, therefore, our home meets are held at Civic Stadium. Also when wet the track is very slick, so without spikes, which most people won’t have, so you should use the track at your own caution.

You’ll find yourself with all sorts of other sports. At one end there’s always an intramural football team out there. On the flip side, you got a couple soccer teams and everywhere in between is just a bunch of other teams. Frisbee, lacrosse, sometimes the rugby teams. That’s only fall quarter too, as the year goes on, other teams will be out there too. I should also mention the fact that the PE classes also use the track, even some faculty fitness classes. The track is meant for everyone, just be aware of what time it is when you go. It never fun going when the track is in use by certain people, you always want to have a good time too.

Even with the track being an enjoyable place to be, each person there has a goal, to get better. Having a bit of fun along the way is perfectly fine. However, if that’s all you’re there for, to socialize and hang out with friends, you should probably re-think that strategy and go somewhere else. Not only will you get yelled at by the student-athletes (all of them, not just the varsity teams), but the coaches will also yell at you. As I said, it’s a place to practice, not hang out and talk. That also doesn’t mean that it isn’t a fun place to be at, because it is. The people out there all have a good time when practicing, there are always laughter to be shared. If you ever end up actually hurting yourself, don’t worry because there is an athletic training room right next to the track as well, they’re open pretty much to anyone as long as you oblige by the rules that they have set, there isn’t a poster or anything with the rules on it, but the general respect rules apply and if you do something that you’re not supposed to, they’ll let you know. And speaking of rules, there’s a few guidelines, track etiquette rather that people like to follow as well which is posted up right outside of the training room, like using the outside lanes if you’re a slower runner, and the inside lanes if you’re a faster runner.

So, if you’re looking for a safe place to run and train yourself, for whatever it is you’re doing, go to the track and use it, because on almost all occasions, it will be better than going anywhere else.

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