RunBlogRun opines: Last weekend was my first track meet since March due to my cardiac catherization in April. I am up to three miles a day, having a strong decrease in my blood sugar from A1C diabetes blood test, and my three stents seem to be working. So, I ventured to the USATF Outdoors. It was nice to see David Hunter, Elliott Denman, Jonathan Gault, David Johnson and Sieg Lindstrom, among other media friends. A hug from some dear friends teared me up, but it was nice to watch the sport I love. Thanks to Adam Johnson-Eder and Mike Deering, who ventured the six hour drive with me to Des Moines, Iowa.
Our friend, Stuart Weir has been covering events all year for RunBlogRun. We are grateful for Stuart spending time as our eyes and ears around the globe. This begins his series on the British Championships in one of my favorite cities, Birmingham, England. Much of my English family lives there, and I hope to see them soon. I also hope to see my friend Stuart in August. He has a wry sense of humor, which I once thought of as Scottish, but he has smiled that one away.
This is Stuart Weir’s opening on British Trials and the upcoming World Athletics Cup!
British Championships and trials
2018 has been a strange year for British athletes. The national championship and selection trials should signal the start of the season but already some athletes have two medals in their locker – from the World Indoors (Birmingham, UK in March) and the Commonwealth Games, held unseasonably early defeat host country Australia’s summer.
As well as being the national championship at the MÅ±ller sponsored event constitutes selection trials for the European Championships in Berlin in early August and also for the inaugural Athletics World Cup in London in two weeks time. Staged over two floodlit sessions on 14 & 15 July, Great Britain and Northern Ireland will compete against the USA, Poland, Germany, France, Jamaica and South Africa in track and field events.
All track and field events up to the 1,500m will be contested between the eight nations in a straight final format, with only one male and female athlete from each country selected in each event.
The GB selection procedure is different from the U.S. With the top two athletes in each event being automatically selected for the European championship provided they have achieved the British athletics qualification standard, which in some cases is higher than the official European championship standard. A third athlete for each event in the European Championships may be chosen at the discretion of the selectors. This may be the athlete finishing third in the trials or an athlete who is injured and miss the trials – or indeed an athlete who has had an excellent season but bombs in the trials.
Excluded from this process are race-walking and10000m for which the selection trials have already taken place, decathlon, heptathlon and marathon.
An added bonus this year is that the event winner in all disciplines included in the World Cup will be selected for the GB team for that event. This selection is only complicated by any required qualifying standard.
Given that the strengths and weaknesses of British athletics, the race from the discipline to discipline, in some events there are four or five athletes well capable of winning a European medal and in others none at all.
A further complicating factor for our poor athletes is the British weather. We are in the midst of a heat wave with temperatures in the high 80s. There is a certain irony that athletes who competed in Birmingham in March in the World Indoor, found the city covered in several inches of snow, only to return to the same city in sweltering temperatures. And to make it slightly more complicated, there were strong winds as well.
Brits are a people renowned for their complaints about the weather. Normally it rains too much. Now we’re complaining that it is too dry and we’re running out of water. In March it was too cold and now it is too hot.
Keep reading the next post will actually describe the action instead of moaning about the weather.