WORK on the upgrade of the Mary Peters Track ahead of the 2013 World Police and Fire Games is proceeding well and is ahead of schedule.
The £3m project includes an eight-lane track with the Mondo running surface which was used so successfully at the recent London Olympics and Paralympics and also in Beijing in 2008.
The field event areas are also being refurbished while there will be a 400-seat spectator stand with associated facilities.
The World Police and Fire Games are the biggest festival outside of the Olympics with 10,000 competitors in a multitude of sports. 30,000 visitors from all around the world are expected for the ten day spectacular.
It is a dream come true for the second time for Dame Mary Peters who famously fund raised for three years in the wake of her Munich Pentathlon gold to realise her dream of a top class athletics venue in Northern Ireland.
She expressed delight that the legacy would be having a world class track capable of hosting major events but also providing facilities for emerging young athletes.
Youthful track star Katie Kirk who was nominated by Dame Mary to light the Olympic Flame in London said: “It is fantastic that Northern Ireland is getting its first outdoor Mondo track to complement the indoor one at the Odyssey. It will enable fast times to be run.”
“Mary Peters is the ultimate heroine to all local athletes and it is fitting that the upgrade of the track named in her honour will give the next generation the facilities to try to emulate her achievements.”
The original track attracted many world stars of the 70s and 80s including John Walker, Steve Ovett, Ed Moses, Linford Christie, Fatima Whitbread, Tessa Sanderson, Jarmilla Kratochvilova, Sally Gunnell and Zola Budd to name but a few.
Hopefully the new track will host top meetings and put the Upper Malone venue back on the list of elite World Class Promotions.