Mondo in Málaga: Is that your favorite track and field surface?

University of Malaga's two-tone Mondo track will hosUniversity of Malaga's two-tone Mondo track will host 80 percent of 400 and 800 heats, I hear.

At WMA worlds in September, sprinters will be pleased to learn, Mondo is the surface of at least one track — at the University of Málaga. But that’s considered a secondary venue. The main one is the City of Málaga’s combined football (soccer) and athletics (track) stadium. Unsure which spikes are recommended for the non-Mondo stadium, but pyramid and Christmas tree spikes (specified for Mondo) may suffice for all.

In any case, the 2012 and 2016 Olympics were contested on Mondo — because it’s speed friendly. (I’ve heard that distance runners have a problem with it, but oh well.)

What is Mondo?

Here’s how a European company site describes it:

The athletic pavement installed on the UMA track is composed of two layers of rubber vulcanized together, so that the surface presents a uniform, continuous and seamless aspect along the entire course. The top layer guarantees stability and resistance to the nails, while its anti-reflective embossing provides grip, traction and excellent drainage.

The subbase, on the other hand, has a geometric structure of four-sided air cells that are deformable in two directions to provide impact absorption and energy return. Sportflex Super X thus guarantees an optimal sport performance combining with comfort for athletes, safety and durability.

Other venues at worlds are listed here.

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About the Author

Ken Stone
Ken has followed track as an athlete, writer and webmaster since the late 1960s, and saw most sessions of track and field at the 1984 Los Angeles and 1996 Atlanta Olympics. He also attended the 1988, 1992, 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012 Trials. He worked for 10 newspapers and now reports for Times of San Diego. Write him at or Story tips always welcome!

5 Comments on "Mondo in Málaga: Is that your favorite track and field surface?"

  1. Weia Reinboud | May 22, 2018 at 7:35 am | Reply

    I very much like Mondo tracks for jumping.

  2. Mondo is great, however it depends on how old it is. Indoor Mondos tend to retain their elasticity while outdoor Mondos that are old and especially in hot climates, dry out and get hard… for example the very hard Mondo at outdoor Nationals last year at LSU.

  3. Don’t understand why distance races are a problem as no details were given as to the reason(s).

    Mondo was used at the 1968 US Olympic trials at Echo Summit and afterwards was donated to a high school in Lake Tahoe, where it was used for at least 20 years or so. It might be affected more by a dry climate than a sunny one as Lake Tahoe has intense solar radiation due to the high altitude.

    The original had a “self-sealing” feature which would close up the spike holes. Eighth inch or three sixteenth spikes will be fine.

    Interestingly, the sprint shoes of today would have been illegal in 1968 due to their many protrusions from the soles. John Carlos set a world record in the 200 meters which was disallowed due to his “brush spikes”, which had short “wire brush” like construction.

    It is a very good, fast track, and my all time favorite.

  4. Beckers Serge | June 17, 2018 at 2:57 pm | Reply

    The main stadium of Malaga had also Mondo during the inspection visit prior to the awarding of the championships. Carranque and Torremolinos had Recortan Surface at that time.

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