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A cinder track
is type of race track
A race track is a purpose-built facility for racing of animals , automobiles, motorcycles or athletes. A race track may also feature grandstands or concourses. Some motorsport tracks are called speedways.A racetrack is a permanent facility or building...
, generally purposed for athletics or horse racing
Horse racing is an equestrian sport that has a long history. Archaeological records indicate that horse racing occurred in ancient Babylon, Syria, and Egypt. Both chariot and mounted horse racing were events in the ancient Greek Olympics by 648 BC...
, whose surface is composed of cinder
A cinder is a pyroclastic material. Cinders are extrusive igneous rocks. Cinders are similar to pumice, which has so many cavities and is such low-density that it can float on water...
s. For running tracks, most cinder surfaces have been replaced by all-weather
An all weather running track is the common term to describe a rubberized artificial running surface for the sport of Track and field athletics. Throughout the history of the sport, there has always been a search for a consistent surface that gave competitors an equal advantage, to test their...
synthetic surfaces, which provide greater durability, more consistent results, and are less stressful on runners. The impact on performance as a result of differing track surfaces is a topic often raised when comparing athletes from different eras.
Synthetic tracks emerged in the late 1960s; the 1964 Olympics
The 1964 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XVIII Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event held in Tokyo, Japan in 1964. Tokyo had been awarded with the organization of the 1940 Summer Olympics, but this honor was subsequently passed to Helsinki because of Japan's...
were the last to use a cinder track.