26mi235 wrote:In terms of rules, I would be inclined to say that using a strongly banked track makes most 200m and many 400m races ineligible for record purposes -- they are aided events that would not even be legal for road racing records (they exceed the allowable downhill limits).
Then why not change the way an indoor track is banked?
I've been saying this for at least 5 years now, and I will say it again: Move the axis of the banking from the inside of lane 1 to the inside of lane 4!
For example, if you have a typical 6-lane track where the highest point of banking is 1 meter off the ground (that would be the outside of lane 6), it is obviously a foregone conclusion that the further out you are from lane 1, the greater your advantage. And since the start of the 200 or 400 in lanes 5 and 6 are closest to the middle of the turn, the runner goes slightly
up, before going way down, then way up and way down again, before crossing the finish. Of course a runner in lane 1 gets no help, even if the turns tilt, because the track does not rise or drop on every turn in lane 1.
Now, suppose we move the axis of a track's banking from the inside of lane 1 to the inside of lane 4. Lane 6 will rise as high as a half-meter from the middle of the turn, before leveling off at the back-straight, and lane 1 will drop a half-meter from the middle of the turn, before rising at the back-straight. A runner in lane 1 will start on a slight downhill, and go down, up, down and up; for lane 6, the runner will start on a an uphill that is barely noticeable, but the downhill run toward the back-straight and the homestretch is not nearly as obvious as it is on a banked track today.
Such a track as this will lessen the advantage to a runner in lane 5 or 6, while a runner in lane 1 or 2 gets the added advantage of a slight downhill start, thereby improving his acceleration at the start to neutralize the advantage of a runner in lane 5 or 6. Runners in lane 3 or 4 will barely notice an uphill or downhill bank, because the axis of that banking will be between those lanes.
Such a track would have to have its straightaways built almost 2 feet off the ground, to allow for the drop in lane 1 on the turns. I'm sure people will have questions about my proposal, but it has the advantage of never having been tried. Or has it?