At The Berlin Olympic stadium and on the streets for the marathon-what a weekend it was. As always, I want to hear your stories, so share your highlights and low lights below the line
What a fabulous weekend that was. On Friday morning I flew to Berlin for the European athletics championships. Since then I’ve seen so many stunning performances and crammed so much in that it feels like about a fortnight ago.
If Berlin is anything to go by – and to misquote Mark Twain – reports of athletic’s demise are much exaggerated. Attendances of between 40,000-60,000 every day, a crowd who not only got behind their home athletes at ear-splitting volume but roared home the astonishing 17-year old Ingebrigsten to his double gold, Dina Asher-Smith to her treble and last night’s gob-smacking pole vault final, in which 18 year old Mondo Duplantis jumped 6m 05cm at the age of 18. The only man who has ever jumped higher than that outdoors is one Sergey Bubka. And that’s barely brushing the surface of what was surely the best European Championships ever.
That, too, is only in the stadium. Yesterday morning I finished my run in time to watch the marathon on the streets of Berlin. I loved screaming my head off in support of Tracy Barlow – someone I’ve got to know well over the last year or so – and who showed what true grit means when it comes to marathon running, finishing under a hot Berlin sun as our top British runner. 15th in Europe – and just a few years ago she was delighted to break 3 hours in the mass start in London. What an incredible journey.
I’ve also developed a total girl-crush on one Catherine Bertone from Italy. She’s 46, she finished eight, and she’s a doctor specialising in infectious diseases. Why she wasn’t running in Wonderwoman kit not the Italian colours I do not know.
And finally – not in the correct chronology of course – I went to Berlin’s Hasenheide parkrun on Saturday morning and had the pleasure of meeting up with some BTL regulars. What a fabulous course, with a sort of comedy short hill in the middle which must be in highest point in about a 400 mile radius: you really have to go out of your way to find so much as an incline in Berlin.
So, a fabulous weekend to report on for my penultimate blog. As always though, it’s all about you: come share your stories below the line.