2019 SPAR British Champs Diary: Birmingham Highs and Lows


Ella Turner.JPGElla Turner, photo by J. Stuart Weir

Stuart Weir's job is to communicate his observations to the readers of @runblogrun. The 2019 SPAR British Champs had some amazing performances, and the theme of another generation is showing its promise. In the past 2 decades, British athletics has reinvented itself from a country with a fine athletic history, but now, the athletes from the UK are among the top 3-4 teams in the world.

Birmingham Highs and Lows

There were a number of undercurrents at work in the Spar British Indoor Championships. Incidentally Spar is a supermarket chain but there were no free groceries on offer that I saw. Next week with Muller sponsoring the Indoor Grand Prix we expect there to be free yoghurts in the media room!

The event is the British Championship so the first aim is to be British champion but even finishing second, guarantees you selection for the European Championships - provided your event is in that championship - no such bonus for the winners of the 200m or the race-walkers. On the other hand, in the 400m, reaching the final gave you a good chance to be selected for the relay.

There were highs and lows as far as performances go. Seventeen of the of twenty-three athletes in the men's 400m, recorded a PR. Less satisfactory was the disqualification of three of seven competitors in the women's 5000m walk and out of ten in the men's. At least we did not have the spate of lane alleged lane violations which marred last year's World Indoors in the same arena.

The age range was impressive with 58 year-old Francisco Reis who walked to a PR in the 5000m racewalk and a few 17 year-olds like Ella Turner (Oxford City), who will be back in school on Monday. Ella was third in her heat of the 400m with 55.30, only 0.12 seconds from making the final. She said of the experience: "It is amazing just to be here for the experience Running on the same track with people I watch on TV is really coo, With quicker runners by my side I just wanted to stay with them as much as I could and go for a PB."

The @runblogrun tour of the IAAF World Indoor Tour, plus the 2019 SPAR British Champs, aka Le Tour de Larry, is sponsored by USATF and Nike, reminding you that the 2019 Toyota USATF Indoor Championships are February 22, 23, and 24 at the Ocean Breeze AC, on Staten Island. To purchase tickets, please use this link:



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