The track is 257 yards around, as measured 18 inches in from the rail (about where you'd run). This translates to 6.85 laps/mile. So, for example, a 5K = 21.25 laps; 4 miles = 27.4 laps.
Note: By a convention that is posted on the walls around the track, runners are to circle the track clockwise on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, and counter-clockwise on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. By another Rec Hall convention, walkers and slower runners are asked to stay close to the "inside" of the track, closest to the rail. Walkers wishing to walk two abreast to socialize should walk the hallway that is on the floor directly below the track. It is about the same distance per lap.
There are are metal signs marking distances posted on the walls surrounding the track. These signs are quite old and harken back to the days when track distances were generally given in yards and fractions of a mile. If you are doing pace work, you might want to use these signs to measure, for example, your quarter mile times. To use the signs, you need to know where the starting line is. The starting line is the only thing that isn't obviously marked! To find it, head up the steps to the track at the center of the scoreboard that is on the end of the track closest to the main (Burrowes Street) entrance to Rec Hall. At the top of the steps, go right a couple of yards. (Be careful to look for oncoming runners!) On the concrete lip that surrounds the inner part of the track, there is a well-worn white mark with the word "Start", still legible in black. It is directly behind Seat 12 on the top row. This is the start line for the marked distances if you run the track counter-clockwise. If you start at this line, just before completing one lap you will see a sign for 220 yards. You will have run 330 yards after about a lap and a quarter. The signs then continue in quarter-mile (440 yard) increments up to 2 miles. There are a few signs missing. Most notably, the "1 Mile" sign seems to have dropped off. You can still see its "ghost" just before the "220" sign, about 85% of the way around the track. Run 6 laps and then this extra 85% and you will have run a mile. If you are really into precision, you will see a mark similar to the start mark on the lip near each sign, marking the distance down to the Angstrom. Because of the convention noted above, you can really only use the signs on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.
If you are just out to run some laps, but still want to keep track of your pace, you can use the following pace chart to convert your lap time to a per-mile pace.
|Lap Time (sec) ||Mile Pace (min/mile) |