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wood guy
RE: Making a treadmill running deck
Agree that UHMWPE (ultra high molecular weight poly ethelyne) would work but is expensive and would need to be backed up by proper thickness of plywood to make it rigid enough.

I'd go with a cabinet grade (the more plys the better) plywood. myself and make sure edges are sanded round and hardware is countersunk below the surface. Then get some belt lube from a store that specalizes in exercise equipment.
I am surprised that you get cracks in your deck though. You might want to reinforce the plywood with a wood strip lengthwise if there is space for it. Good luck!

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