“Approach speed is a major determinant of pole-vault performance. Athletic jump events such as long jump, triple jump, and pole vault can utilize an elevated track for the runway. Feedback from athletes indicates a benefit of using an elevated track on their results.”

“To investigate the potential advantage of using an elevated track during elite pole-vault competitions on run-up speed parameters.”

“Performance and run-up criteria (speed, stride rate, contact, and aerial time) were measured from 20 high-level male pole-vaulters during official competitions on either a regular or an elevated track.”

“Statistical analyses indicated that for the elevated track, there was a small improvement in final speed (1.1%), stride rate (1.1%), and takeoff distance (3.1%) and a small reduction in aerial time (−1.9%).”

“….speed improvement was largely correlated with stride-rate improvement and contact-time reduction for slower athletes. Elevated tracks can increase final approach speed in pole vault and positively influence performance.”

J.Cassirame, H.Sanchez, J.B.Morin
The Elevated Track in Pole Vault: An Advantage During Run-Up?
International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance — Volume 13 #6 — July 2-18 — page 717