Triple jump equipment is in fact exactly the same as that required for long jump, just that triple jump uses a series of take-off boards (usually 3 but 4 for top level competition) to cater for athletes of differing abilities. In addition to the take-off boards, triple jump and long jump requires both a Run-up/Runway and a Sandpit.
The Run-up/Runway – IAAF & UKA rules confirm that ‘a runway should be level and at least 40m in length’ and ‘the minimum width of the runway shall be 1.22m and the maximum shall be 1.25m’ (reference from UKA rules for competition effective from 1st April 2014). However, must run-ups that we install are not for major competitions and we regularly install shorter run-ups of 30mtr’s and even shorter for primary schools. Most run-ups that we install are made in the same way, with pre-cast concrete edgings to prevent vegetation ingress, stone sub followed by porous concrete base for drainage and log life and finally 12mm red texture sprayed high quality Conica rubber athletics surface to get the best quality and lifespan out of the installation.
The Sandpit – IAAF & UKA rules confirm that ‘landing area should have a minimum width of 2.75m, a maximum width of 3m, and be at least 8m long. It should, if possible, be so placed that the middle of the runway, if extended, would coincide with the middle of the landing area’ (reference from UKA rules for competition effective from 1st April 2014). The size of sandpit that we most regularly install is 3mtr wide x 9mtr long x 350mm deep.
The construction includes pre-cast concrete edgings with rubber capping known as soft kerbs used to minimise the risk of injury should an athlete land near to or on the edges of the sandpit, surrounded with one row of paving slabs so that any sand blown out of the sandpit can be easily brushed back in. The sandpit is lined with Geotextile for drainage and filled with washed white athletics sand. It is very important to use athletics specialist sand for athlete’s safety as for example building sand should never be used and is dangerous for athletes. We appreciate that the above sandpit is of a high standard but gone are the days of digging a rectangular hole in the ground and filling it with sand being acceptable.
However, we do offer a compromise and can install a smaller sandpit of 3mtr x 5mtr x 300mm deep with timber edges for smaller budgets but would always recommend the full system for maximum performance and best lifespan. Lastly with the sandpits, they do need to be covered when not in use to protect against the wind and rain. The cover can either be a vinyl waterproof cover which is a specialist vinyl sheet that has sleeves on the sides to take a weighted pole or a full wheelaway cover can be used which is essence is a ‘mini garage on wheels’. The sandpit can’t be stored in a garage so why not bring the garage to the sandpit for best protection.
Finally, it is worth considering the following when selecting a site for a new sandpit:
Space available for the run-up and sandpit – The total length of the run-up and sandpit is approx. 40mtr in most cases which takes up quite a bit of space. Usually, the run-up and sandpit will run parallel to the straight section of the running track.
Level Ground – Because of the length of the runway, the ground needs to be level to not disadvantage an athlete because of an incline or increase advantage because of a decline.
Good Drainage – To ensure it doesn’t get water logged during spells of poor weather and that the components of the installation are not damaged due to flooding.