A high school in Japan came up with a creative solution for dealing with their winter weather. Instead of building an indoor track, they built a greenhouse around a 330m outdoor track where their athletes can escape the cold and snow.
— 旭川龍谷高等学校陸上競技部 (@arhstfc) October 10, 2021
The track was built for Asahikawa Ryukoku High School in Japan’s Hokkaido Prefecture, whose athletes are currently training for the Hokkaido Prefecture High School Girls Ekiden on October 23. The team is hoping for their sixth straight win, and their coach is hoping this new track will help get them there.
The Hokkaido Prefecture is known for heavy snowfall and temperatures that can drop as low as -20 C. In years past, the school’s Ekiden team has continued to train outside in the winter or had to travel to Sapporo to train on inside domed stadiums, a four-hour round trip from the school.
The special track was built on a 1,650 metre campus where the high school is being relocated next summer. The greenhouse structure is coated in durable vinyl, ranges from 5.4 m to 7.2 m in width and stands four metres high at its maximum point. Currently, the four-lane track is made of dirt, but in the future, two lanes will be covered with artificial turf and one lane will have a 100 m segment coated with standard all-weather track surface material. The facility is heated so it can be used throughout the year.
— 旭川龍谷高等学校陸上競技部 (@arhstfc) October 17, 2021
A few of the athletes have already tested out the new track and given it good reviews, including senior captain Sakura Ishibashi. “This will be a great place to train without having to worry about wind or snow,” Ishibashi told Japan Running News. “We’re all super grateful and want to show our thanks by succeeding.”
The track will also be available to the community and will be a great sports facility for the masses during the cold, snowy winter months.