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Ever Sprint to Catch a Flight? You'll Appreciate This Airport's Racetrack Lanes.

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On your marks. Get set. Go! Your flight’s boarding and the race to make it to your cramped seat on time is on.



All Photos Courtesy of Kenta Hasegawa NIKKEN SEKKEI + Ryohin Keikaku + PARTY

If you’ve ever almost missed your plane, you know the feeling. Sprinting through the airport in a panic has never felt or looked cool, except for maybe at Tokyo’s Narita International Airport (NRT), where the Terminal 3 walkways were just transformed into running racetrack lanes. Yes, those.



Japan’s largest airport rolled out the sporty upgrade last week as part of the promotional and logistical runup to the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo. The clever floor designs, which look and feel pretty much exactly like the typical shock-absorbing rubberized tracks used in track and field, come in brick red and sky blue.

Related: 10 of the Best Airport Gyms in the World 

The winding, white-lined pathways don’t just look pretty; they’re useful, too, intended to guide harried hordes of travelers in the directions they need to go. Red lanes lead to airport arrivals areas, blue to departures. Convenient, cushioned and and campy. We like it.



Conceptualized in part by Japanese advertising and design house PARTY and primarily constructed by Nikkei Sekkei, the overhauled terminal bearing the fresh racetrack lanes was unveiled on April 8 as an area dedicated to low-cost commercial airlines alone.

Flying with the theme of budget airlines and “economic reasonability,” the project’s architects chose not to install the usual unimaginative airport illuminated signs and moving walkways. “Instead, to offer an exciting walking experience that is easy on the feet, we implemented running tracks used for track and field, and added signage for user friendly guidance,” PARTY noted on an official website about NRT’s unique Terminal 3 visual aesthetic.

Related: The Feds Don't Want In-Flight Cell Phone Calls, Either



Notice the operative word there? Walking. Not running, though we imagine more than a few cheeky travelers won’t be able to resist the urge to Usain Bolt. Just think of all the starting line selfies and silly photo finishes (and selfie-stick injuries) to come.  

For a close-up peek at the world’s first indoor airport racetrack -- and to imagine yourself gliding on it, because you know you want to -- check out the slick promo clip below:



 



Related: Is This the Airport of the Future?

Kim Lachance Shandrow

Written By

Kim Lachance Shandrow is the former West Coast editor at Entrepreneur.com. Previously, she was a commerce columnist at Los Angeles CityBeat, a news producer at MSNBC and KNBC in Los Angeles and a frequent contributor to the Los Angeles Times. She has also written for Government Technology magazine, LA Yoga magazine, the Lowell Sun newspaper, HealthCentral.com, PsychCentral.com and the former U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. C. Everett Coop. Follow her on Twitter at @Lashandrow. You can also follow her on Facebook here