Ian Cumming, a finalist in this year’s Great British Bake Off, dropped on Tuesday, November 24 2015 to mark the completion of the £160,000 refurbishment of the track, in Mountfield Road, Lewes.
Mr Cumming, a former Lewes resident and Lewes Athletics Club member, provided a specially-baked cake to mark the occasion, and fired the starting pistol on a ceremonial first race
The old track, which was showing signs of wear after being pounded hundreds of thousands of times since it was installed in 1999, has been replaced by a gleaming new, high-tech surface.
Peter Masters, chairman of Lewes Athletics Club, said: “The new track looks fantastic and will allow us to get more use out of it, take on more members and allow more school and community use.
“As a club member with very strong links to Lewes, Ian was the ideal person to officially open the track and he was very impressed with the improvement.”
The project, led by landowner East Sussex County Council, was made possible after funding was secured by Lewes Athletics Club.
The £160,000 total cost included £40,500 from England Athletics, £50,000 from the club and contributions from the county council, Priory School, Sussex Downs College, Wave Leisure Trust, Lewes Town Council and Sussex Athletics.
Cllr David Elkin, East Sussex County Council lead member for resources, said: “The revamp means the track, which is a real asset to the community, is secured for many years to come.
“The project is the result of the efforts of lots of people, notably the athletics club who worked tremendously hard to secure funding for the new track.”
The athletics track is subject to a Joint Use Agreement between East Sussex County Council, Lewes District Council, Sussex Downs College, Lewes Athletics Club and the Priory School.