Life in the Fast Lane
How a local runner—and an NCAA ruling—made the JDL Fast Track a winter haven for track athletes near and far.
By Chris Gigley, Winston-Salem Monthly
Winston-Salem and track athletes all over the state are lucky David Shannon loves to run and hates the cold. JDL Fast Track wouldn’t exist if he didn’t.
“For him, cold weather defines anything under 70,” says Craig Longhurst, who manages facility and can make fun of the boss because Shannon is also his father-in-law. “It just started as, ‘Hey let’s find a warehouse and put a track in it so I have someplace to run in the winter.’”
In 2012, Shannon, the president of real estate developer JDL Castle Corporation, did just that, buying the old Jostens Yearbook factory in an office park west of the city. The bones of the factory are still there. Without its signage, JDL Fast Track could easily be mistaken for a warehouse. Inside, the 105,000-square-foot space is ringed with steel support columns and features a low profile—factors that have limited it to track events thus far.
That’s enough, however. Shannon’s vision was clearly more than just a large, heated personal gym. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have covered the track with Mondotrack FTX, the same surface used at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Nor would he have built field event areas, include two pole vault runways, two long/triple jump runways, one high jump apron, and one throws area. The place was designed for serious competition.
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