Enrique Alcántara Alcover; Mercedes Sanchis Almenar; José Francisco Serrano Ortiz; Sonia Gimeno Peña; Laura Magraner Llavador; Ramón Moraga Mestre; Alfonso Oltra Pastor*; Carlos Soler Gracia
Instituto de Biomecánica (IBV)
*IBV’s Health Technology Group, CIBER in Bioengineering, Biomaterials and Nanomedicine (CIBER-BBN)
Valencia has a new running path 5,731 meters long in a park placed in the city center. The Instituto de Biomecánica (IBV) has advised on the design of the route, its geometry and dimensions, the selection and testing of the pavement, as well as on the circuit signaling.
“ Jardí del Túria Circuit 5k ", promoted by the Trinidad Alfonso Foundation, was officially open last September. This initiative is part of the project “Valencia ciudad del Running” led by the Trinidad Alfonso Foundation. This project includes the Valencia marathon and half marathon, which were recently awarded the IAAF gold label (International Association of Athletics Federations).
“Circuit 5k" is an infrastructure designed both to promote and to make running easier in safety and comfort conditions. A glimpse to the phantastic setting of the Turia old riverbed suffices to verify that this objective has definitely been met. The IBV has participated in this project by performing technical assistance tasks.
The technical part of Jardí del Túria 5k Circuit project has been led by architect Carlos Campos, along with the Department of Parks and Gardens of Valencia City Council.
The IBV took part in the project by giving technical advice on the following aspects:
♦ Route design and geometry.
♦ Selecting and assessing the pavement.
♦ Signaling the route.
The 5k circuit has a linear route of 5,731 meters for runners only. In this regard, the design took into account the dimensions and geometry of the circuit with the safety and comfort of runners in mind. The width of the circuit, the turning radius as well for changes in direction are designed to offer the runners the maximum continuity during the activity. As for the route, the various uses of the old riverbed required a solution that allowed them to coexist without interfering.
In addition, the IBV took part in the selection of the pavement and its subsequent assessment. Shock absorption and drainage slopes were taken into account. Drainage slopes are particularly important because they should be steep enough to prevent puddles on rainy days but, at the same time, not as high as to cause overloading on the joints of the runners.
The pavement is made up of three layers with a total thickness of 60 cm. The first layer is drainage gravel, the second one is a compacted base and the third layer is a continuous paving of stabilized aggregates.
Once the circuit was built, the IBV made the relevant tests following the methodology set out in the IAAF rules and regulations. The results showed that in those sections surfaced with this pavement, impact forces were reduced by up to 10% compared with the maximum of 3% offered by asphalt.
The IBV also took part in the definition of signaling along the route. This includes graphic information for runners to assess and improve their fitness by performing simple tests. Likewise, graphical instructions on how to stretch correctly before and after running are included. There is also one kilometric point every 100 meters, and information panels about interesting elements of the environment surrounding the circuit, both historical and cultural items as building, bridges or museums.. Also, outdoor training areas and hydration points are marked, among other things.
For further information: http://www.valenciaciudaddelrunning.com/ciudad/circuit-5k/
The IBV has participated in the development of a specific facility for fitness outdoor running in the city of Valencia. It is a route designed for the safety, development and comfort of runners, bearing in mind its integration with other uses of the environment as well as its role in enhancing the historical, cultural and natural heritage. The experience gained with this project is available to any organization interested in promoting healthy sports facilities with similar characteristics.
Special thanks to the Trinidad Alfonso Foundation.