To mark 100 years of the IAAF, SPIKES has come up with 100 reasons to celebrate the world's number one sport. So in no particular order, here's the first 20...
1. The original sport
The IAAF is 100 this week. But athletics is more than 4000-years-old. Way before the invention of ships, sanitation or bombs; ancient Egyptians were competing in running and the high jump.
2. The world's greatest race
The men's 100m final has thrown up many of the defining moments in the history of sport. No other sporting competition captures the imagination like the primal 100 metre dash to the finish.
No champion, record holder or hot favourite is ever safe in the world of athletics. And major championships can be too hard to call. Remember the Daegu 2011 cover star curse?
4. Higher and higher
Is there anything more exciting than watching a pole vault or high jump field narrow down to just a few elite combatants, as they cope with enormous pressure to better their opponents? No.
5. Tactical genius
It's a joy to behold when a top-class middle distance athlete picks their moment to strike, and bang! They're away.