Commander’s Action Line

Hello. With all the emphasis on Combat Fitness and the new physical training program, I was wondering why the Air Force hasn’t installed rubberized tracks at Vogelweh and Ramstein. It’s common knowledge that running on pavement is not good for the knees and we’re told to avoid it when possible. The Army has rubberized tracks at Pulaski Barracks and Landstuhl however; neither of them is approved for us to take our official physical fitness test on. Is anything being done about getting them approved? I have also contacted the Vogelweh fitness center and the 735th Civil Engineer Squadron and they have both told me there is no plan to install a new track. Why aren’t there any plans in the near future to have rubberized tracks installed on Air Force installations?

You are correct that rubberized running tracks are the ideal running surface. While we have no current plans to renovate our existing tracks at Vogelweh and Ramstein, we will have a synthetic running surface when the $14 million Ramstein Southside Fitness Center addition is completed in December 2005. The existing track behind the Ramstein Southside Fitness Center will be demolished to accommodate the new facility. When finished, the facility will have a new outdoor track area made of crushed volcanic rock material that is soft on the feet. As painful as it is to lose our track during the construction process, the end result will be worth the inconvenience. In the meantime, as for using the Landstuhl and Pulaski rubberized tracks for the Air Force physical fitness test, they are authorized locations and are open tracks available for everyone’s use. The only hitch is that they can’t be reserved, so you might want to schedule the tests during non-peak times. Happy running!