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What does it take to survey for the Great North Run?

The Great North Run is the biggest half marathon in the world, occurring annually in the North East of England. Runners start in Newcastle and follow the course to South Shields.

The Great North Run is the biggest half marathon in the world, occurring annually in the North East of England. Runners start in Newcastle and follow the course to South Shields.

On the same weekend, the City Games take place. Both of these events require meticulous planning and careful surveying to ensure participants in all events are safe, catered for, and performing in optimal conditions.

The Saturday before the Great North Run, multiple events centred around the Newcastle and Gateshead Quayside take place. These include:

  • The Mini GNR
  • Pole Vault
  • Long Jump
  • Mile
  • 110m Hurdles
  • 500m Sprint
  • 100m Sprint
  • 150m Sprint

Each of these events requires a high level of intelligent planning and construction. The pole vault needs ample space and cushioning to protect contestants, the long jump should have a special runway and a sandpit, and of course, the hurdling track needs to be wide enough to substantiate the hurdles themselves.

How are running tracks designed?

When sporting facilities are constructed, surveying is an integral part of the design and build process.

Because there are so many specific rules and guidelines about the dimensions and materials that can be used to create running tracks, for example, it’s more important than ever to hire an expert surveyor to make sure the design is top notch.

The Sports and Play Construction Association (SAPCA) is a UK-based organisation that ensures professional sporting events and arenas are built to standard.

Running track especially must meet the SAPCA standards for:

  • Surface flatness
  • Surface thickness
  • Force reduction
  • Modified Vertical Deformation
  • Friction
  • Tensile strength

Why do we survey competition zones?

Surveying prior to an event that requires a track (even a temporary one) is necessary to make sure that the area in question is suitable for the event. When surveying a potential area for a running track, land surveyors will look at:

  • Levels
  • Existing track layouts
  • Existing drainage infrastructure
  • Ditch and stream levels to ascertain drainage outfall levels
  • Site boundaries

The information gathered by surveyors is invaluable for the contractors tasked with building the competition zone. They need to know exact markings, distances, and boundaries to ensure the finished product is fit for purpose.

Landform Surveys tackles the GNR and Northern CityGames

The 2018 Great North Run was a huge success, drawing an estimated 43,000 participants for the 13.1mile challenge.

Landform Surveys was asked to complete a survey for the tracks, spectator stands, and finish lines. This involved marking out individual tracks and hurdle markers, measuring safe boundaries for spectators, and devising a funnel system for the finish line.

The event went smoothly, and thanks to the help of the Organisation Team all barriers and boundaries were observed.

Event surveying from Landform Surveys

Do you have an event that needs surveying? Maybe you’re constructing a sports facility and need to meet SAPCA standards to go ahead with the build. Landform Surveys have experience surveying huge outdoor events – like the Great North Run – as well as indoor projects using specialist 3D scanning laser technology.