I was reading a bit of trivia about infield tarps in baseball today, which mentioned that some tarps are rolled out by a ground crew while others extend over the infield mechanically. I imagine that the robot tarps must be offensive to poetic souls like W. P. Kinsella, who has written fiction about summoning ghosts of baseball past by constructing a baseball field on an Iowa farm (Shoeless Joe) and about a conspiracy of baseball fans to replace a major league stadium's carpeted outfield with natural turf ("The Thrill of the Grass").
You won't see a ground crew covering a track & field facility with a tarp nowadays, if indeed you ever would have. Today's synthetic tracks need very little day-to-day maintenance. In the bad old days it wasn't always so. As recently as my childhood (say pre-1970), Florida State University had a dirt track. Before competitions the surface needed to be raked and lined. Lining must have been particularly labor intensive. Not only did lane lines need to be chalked, but also marks for staggered starts, relay exchanges, starting lines, and so one. The FSU track had brass plates tacked onto the curb indicating where each of these marks had to be chalked. There were a lot of plates. Of course, every time it rained, all the lane lines and other marks were washed away. There was no hurry to re-draw them, though, because the track would be too muddy to use for quite a while after a rainstorm.
On synthetic tracks the markings are much more durable. I walked by FSU's Mike Long Track earlier this week and noticed that markings were fresh and bright; they had just been repainted. This gets done about once a year, which is probably more often than it actually has to be done, but is still a lot less frequently than the old dirt surface needed to be chalked. If there was any special equipment used to chalk the track, I imagine that it was scrapped long ago. I hope that the workers responsible for getting the track in shape suffered a less cruel fate.