2019 Monaco Herculis DL Diary: The place of Monaco...

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20190712_190406.jpgStade Louis II, 12 July 2019, photo by Stuart Weir

We paid Stuart double his normal rate to file this piece. He went in depth on the Monaco Herculis DL, and just how hot the meet was in 2019.

It was TOTALLY HOT!

The place of Monaco

On the pre-event press conference the meet director, Jean-Pierre Schoebe, said that the received wisdom is that Zurich Weltklasse is the premier Diamond League event in the series but that he wished to argue the case for Monaco.

Monte Carlo and Monaco is certainly a spectacular place. It is the playground of the rich and the domicile of tax-avoiders. Walking around it is surreal. The harbor is full of yachts representing a level of wealth and luxury that is almost obscene, yet fascinating to observe. In my daily 20 minute walk to the event hotel from (cheaper) France, I amuse myself counting the Ferraris - often three in a row - outside the Hermitage Hotel. There is the enormous Casino.

Monaco is ruled by Prince Albert of the Grimaldi family. He is a regular attender at the Diamond League - I imagine ruling Monaco is not a full-time job! That he is the prince begs the question why he never becomes king.

Monaco is primarily known to many as the home of the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix. There is no permanent racing track, the race is run around the streets of Monaco. The event hotel, The Fairmont, is situated on Formula One's famous hairpin bend. Classy boutiques, of which there are many, often have a racing car tire or other bizarre memorabilia in the windows, as if some vague association with the Grand Prix confirms that it is the place to buy that expensive piece of jewellery!

The weather at the Herculis always seems splendid. How can one not enjoy being there?

Then there is the track. Some people call it the fastest in the world. I asked Charlie Grice on Friday night, just after he had run a 3 second PR in the 1500 what made the Monaco track so fast. He replied: "I think the combination of time of year, running well in July, the heat, that its sheltered with not much wind makes it a quick and everyone gets after it".

We can probably all think of amazing Monaco races like:

2015 Genzebe Dibaba 1500m world record, 3:50:07.

2015, Asbel Kiprop meeting record for 1500 metres in 3:26.69.

2017 when Brenda Martinez ran 1:58.43 for 800m and was seventh!!

In 2019 twenty-two records were set. The meet did not disappoint.

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