Track club gets creative by turning shopping center garage into own running facility

WEST NYACK, New York (WABC) -- A local track club is getting creative in the pandemic by turning a shopping center parking garage into their own running facility.

Most indoor tracks are closed and others have become vaccination sites, and with a harsh winter making outdoor track challenging, the Suffern track team is running indoors - in the parking garage at the Palisades Center.

"We were looking for an indoor space, or just anywhere that could protect us from the weather," said Coach Jeff Dempsey, "Once we saw the size in here, it was enormous, so we knew it could work."

"The initial reaction was 'I don't know how we could ever do this.' You know, we met with him, we took a look around, did a lot of measuring to make sure it was going to work, and once we determined that it was going to work, we were very open to the idea," said Palisades Center General Manager Darren Houseman.

A parking garage doesn't have standard indoor or outdoor track dimensions, but in addition to the measurements, the surface was also a difference.

"The material of the floor is pretty weird, because you can't wear normal spikes that you would wear, but other than that it's not even that bad to run on," said Suffern Senior Sarah Galvin.

Other students said it was a little bit of an adjustment.

"It's a little harder a surface to be stomping your feet on, but besides that, I think it was a bit of a more seamless transition," said Suffern Senior Travis Delaney

Thanks to the idea and the help of the Palisades Center, the students are able to have a track season.

"It's smiles, it's bouncing off the walls down here - it's been great," added Coach Dempsey.

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