While I am not in Monaco this year, the Herculis meeting is one of the finest meets on the circuit. I spent the last several summers going to the meet. After some introspection, here are my six reasons why the Monaco DL Herculis meeting is so fantastic.
The Monaco Diamond League meeting is always near the middle of July, just when most athletes are getting into shape for the World Champs, Olympic Games or major meets of the season. I have told people that it is one of the most exciting 90 minutes of track and field that I have ever seen. Here are my five reasons why Monaco DL should be on your bucket list.
1. Not a bad seat in the Stade Louis!
The stadium in Monaco seats just about 15,000, and there is not a bad seat in the house. The local crowd is boisterous and loves athletics. The stadium is comfortable, a nice, modest size old school stadium that is a great place to view any and all events of the meet. Being able to see all of the events well from any seat gives the fans a chance to follow the entire meet.
2. Amazingly deep fields just battle to the finish!
The Herculis staff puts together amazing fields. Not a bad race in either evening I have been there. The level of competition will shock and enthrall you. The 800 meters in 2014 was one of the deepest I have ever seen, where four men were under 1:44, and the crowd roared. The men’s and women’s 1,500 meters and 3,000 meters have amazingly deep fields in 2016.
3. The crowd gets excited during the meet!
The crowd in Monaco loves the meet. On a nice summer evening, as the sun goes down, the meet gets cool, and the Meditteranean climate provides just about perfect conditions for distance running. The speed of the events, the consistent high quality of events builds to a crescendo and gives the fans one event after another to applaud. The crowd expects high quality and they love it!
4. Always a great race to finish the meet!
In 2014, it was the 110 meter hurdles, in 2015, it was the 1,500 meter women’s race that not only saw a WR, but an huge battle over the American record. The crowds loved both and cheered both races! The building of excitement in the meet, the quality of performances and athletes, keep the excitement at a high level, and a great race ending the meet means that fans leave the meet loving track & field. This should be how each and every meet around the world finishes, with their best race, but surprisingly, many do not. Monaco DL makes a statement about great finishing events!
5. Fantastic press conferences
One of the things that I am missing this year is the press conferences in Monaco. Simple events, but the athletes show up, answer questions in French and English and there is actually time for questions. My favorite was with Pasqual Martin Lagarde in 2014 and Jimmy Vicaut in 2015.
5. You might see Prince Albert!
Prince Albert of Monaco is a real track fan. Ask the people who met the Prince in 2012 at the Wild Duck Cafe! The Prince stays at the Monaco DL the entire meet, and can be seen checking out the jumps and throws with binoculars. He walks through the stadium some times and just adds to the grandeur of the meet.