Weekend in London to watch World Championship Athletics

Quick update on my ankle injury … it is definitely getting better but I’m still not able to run. I’ve been on my bike and also Tim’s Elliptigo which is great fun. I did a short video which I put on my Facebook page.

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Over a year ago 6 friends from Kilbarchan decided to make a trip to London to watch the World Athletics. They decided to choose the final Saturday as it would feature Mo in the 5,000m and Usain Bolt in the 4 x 100m relay.

Grant, who organised the trip, then joined the Fire Brigade and sadly for him he was down to work this weekend so couldn’t go. He asked on our Facebook page did anyone want to take his place. Katrina saw it and said to me that I should go! What a star my wife is!

The six of us met at Glasgow airport on Saturday 12th August at 5.45am in time for our Ryanair flight to Stanstead. Once we arrived in London we caught the train and underground to our hotel Crowne Plaza in the Docklands.

We left our bags at the hotel and set off for the day. We took the Emirates Airline across the Thames and then had some lunch at the O2 Arena.

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After lunch we made our way to the Olympic Park as we were keen to have a wander around and soak in the atmosphere before going into the stadium for the evening session.

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We met up with our good friends Neal, Caroline and Harrison who were also down for the Athletics. We didn’t envy them taking a 14 month old active boy into the Athletics but at least they can tell him when he’s older that he watched the great Usain Bolt in his final race!

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Velodrone

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We went in to the stadium just after 5pm to find our seats and get ready for the action which was due to start at 5.30pm.

It was a great action packed programme ….

FullSizeRender 3We were in the cheap seats, in fact, we were at the very back on the bend before the start of the 100m. The view though was superb and I was pleased that we were at the end of the High Jump as the woman’s final was on which featured Katarina Johnson Thompson and Morgan Lake from GB.

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I love being at live events because you can choose what to watch. When you watch on TV you are directed by the editor but live you can watch anywhere in the stadium.

For example the High Jump finalists came out 40mins before their event started so I was really interesting to watch their preparation and practise before the event. Also in the 5,000m you had the whole field to watch not just the front of the race.

The next five hours just few by as there was so much to watch and enjoy.  The highlights were obviously the 5,000 with Mo Farah doing so well to finish 2nd in the end and the two spring relays with GB winning silver in the woman’s and a surprise gold in the men’s.

It was an amazing atmosphere and I’m so glad I was there to enjoy it.

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5,000m runners heading to the start

We left at 10.30pm and joined the crowds leaving the area. We were back at our hotel just before midnight … in time to watch the end of Match of the Day though I missed Everton’s win against Stoke! But don’t worry I watched the repeat show in the morning!

After the Football I went for a swim and used the cross trainer in the hotel spar. We met up at 10.30am and made our way to Buckingham Palace to watch the 20k walk.

The course is a 2k loop up down from Whitehall to Buckingham Palace which they walk 10 times. The 50k race which was on in the morning was 25 loops! Race walking is a strange discipline but the speeds these top walkers can move is amazing.

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We went for some lunch after watching the woman’s race and then got back in time to watch the end of the men’s race.

Once the race was finished we made our way to Stanstead Airport to catch our 7pm flight back to Glasgow with Ryanair.

Or that is what we hoped. To cut a long story short the flight was cancelled and after considering various options and waiting for some news from Ryanair we hired two cars from Europcar.

We found two other guys who were going to hired their own car which meant we had four in each car to share the cost! The car I was in drove straight home! We arrived in Glasgow at 6.30am. I had time to shower, have some breakfast and then head to work!

Despite the hassle of getting home we had a great weekend and certainly picked a great night to go to the Athletics with 3 medals for GB.

 

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