Five Lessons from the Muller Indoor Grand Prix Birmingham


I enjoy my trips to Birmingham, England. Besides amazing curry, and great track meets, I get to see some dear friends. As there was no 2016 meet (meet moved to Glasgow for one year), I was happy for the short trip to Birmingham from February 15-20.

Here is what I observed at the meet!

642615188.jpgMo Farah, celebrating his 5000m ER/NR, photo: Getty Images/British Atheltics

1. Birmingham will be the perfect host for the 2018 World Indoor Athletic Championships.

From hotels, to history, to great food, to art and culture, Birmingham has it. The city reinvented itself over the past three decades, with art, music and the Barclaycard Arena. On the running side, Birmingham (through Great Run) host three major road races, a 10k, a half marathon, and in the fall of 2017, a full marathon! For athletics, they have the Birmingham Diamond League as well as the Muller Indoor GP.

2. The BarclayCard Arena, updated, is one of the finest indoor track facilities that I have seen in the world!

The indoor facility seats 12,000. The MONDO indoor track is banked, and very fast. The restaurants now part of the Arena will keep people happy in between sessions (with many restaurants within walking distance). The noise from the crowd is exciting and the locals love athletics.

3. Mo Farah ended his indoor career in style, taking out the British and European records for the 5000 meters.

Due to a technicality, Mo Farah's 13:11.7 from 2011 was not a British record. The record belonged to the amazing Nick Rose, 13:22.4 from 1981, I believe. Mo Farah was battled by Albert Rop up until the final straightaway. An encouraged Mo Farah ran 13:09.17, for a new British record, and a new European record. Albert Rop ran his indoor PB as well! The crowd, who loves Mo Farah, loved his last race and stood standing after the race.

4. Laura Muir is becoming the queen of British athletics.

With Jessica Ennis-Hill retiring altogether and Mo Farah saying his last goodbyes in London World Champs, many were worried about the next generation of British stars. With Laura Muir's two British records during the summer of 2016 over 1,500 meters, and now, her records over 1000 meters, 3000 meters and 5,000 meters indoors, Laura Muir is the darling of British track fans. Her run in Birmingham, 2:31.93, set a new British and European record for the distance.

5. Andrew Pozzi is ready to roll!

The British hurdler has been quite good for some time, but has suffered from some frustrating injuries. In his 2017 indoor season, Andrew has continued to roll, and ran, in Birmingham, the fastest time of the year in 7.43. Pozzi dominated the 60 meter hurdles so much, it looked like there were two races. Watch Andrew Pozzi in the European indoors and as he builds for London 2017.

642572214.jpgElaine Thompson ran 6.98 on the swift new sprint track in Birmingham, photo: Getty Images/British Athletics

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