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What are the specifications for a 2-mile run track?

My unit makes us take our PT test on this really steep hill. We have to run up it but we don't even get the advantage of running downhill later in the course. This seems like a bunch of crap. Can they do this?

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Here are the requirements for the 2-mile run site:

  • must be 2-miles long (measured).
  • must have a solid surface
  • must have a grade no steeper than 3-percent grade.

Sound judgment must be used in the selection of a 2-mile run course. There is no requirement to survey the course; however, selected test sites should be free of significant hazards such as traffic, slippery road surfaces, and areas where heavy pollution is present.

Extracted from FM 7-22 Appendix A

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Mark is a Retired Command Sergeant Major with 26 years of military leadership experience. He held 3 military occupational specialties (Field Artillery, Nuclear Weapons Tech, and Ammunition Ordnance). Mark is one of the leading military authors in the fields of leadership, counseling, and training.

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  • Rob


    Ok, I need some guidance on this issue. We are currently running a 1/4 track with no curves. Straight line. Having to turn around at each point. The points are not wide enough to allow the runners to keep pace. The runners will have to slow down and reverse course (direction, 180 degrees). How is this a fair assessment of your two mile run. The two mile run times as presented by the Army does not include stop and start times three times. You are basically adding at least a min to the run times of each soldier by having them do this. I have seen this at several units and I think we screwing our soldiers by doing this. I can not find any standards for the course except for a grade (3%). Any runner will tell you a break in stride at anytime (not done willingly by the runner) will hurt your time. How can we say there is no walking but tell our soldiers to complete a 180 degree turn at a single point. Its wrong and should not be allowed. Bottom line is a two mile run is timed as a non stop race. But we are allowing units to have turn around points without compensating the soldiers for his turn around time.

    • Mark Gerecht


      I never thought about this issue. I have run several 2-mile run layout and many required a turn around as you describe. I can only think of 2 options. The first is to address the issue with the chain of command. Your arguement makes sense and does put a Soldier at a disadvangtage. Add to that if you change the layout around overall unit PT scores will improve…thus helping the command team by having better PT scores to submit to higher. The second option I recommend is that you coutact the Army Physical Fitness School and raise the issue with them and ask them to send out an interim message addressing the issue. Their website is: http://www.jackson.army.mil/!2009_pages/dbct/pf.html

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