Monday, July 7, 2014

Now that's what I call an athletics stadium

To Loughborough yesterday with the joint Yate and Bristol team in the Midland League. A very good athletics track - once you thread your way through the university campus - but around it is a really top class indoor track and facility. Photo finish is mounted in a purpose-built cabin on top of the modern building housing all the admin. The overhanging roof shelters the long and triple jump pits and also keeps the timekeepers cool on a hot day.

I did remark to my fellow timekeepers that when I win the Euromillions, I shall build something like it at Yate.

By contrast, the older pavilion (and I use the word purposely) where the necessary offices are is like something out of Chariots of Fire. All oak panels in the public part and white tiles and overhead pull flushes where it matters.

We went into the match leading the division, with serious misgivings about the possibility of promotion.The competition in Division Two is just about right for us. It would be nice to get to Division One, but when we can't rely on athletes to be available in every match, I'm pretty sure we would struggle. There was little danger of promotion in the end. With several athletes who we could have done with, like Hannah Jackson, competing in the UK Women's League in Portsmouth, there was an ad hoc look to much of the team and I think we came last.

Our sprinters acquitted themselves well - as they always do - but there were too many gaps in the team.

Interesting from my point of view was the constant feedback the timekeepers got from the photo finish, so we could see exactly how close we were getting to the real time. Three times - count them, THREE - I got exactly the same time as the computer. And I'll pass over the times when I was close to .3 of a second out. Not many of them, but still....

The Commonwealth Games tickets have arrived so I've started planning our trip to Scotland. English Schools is next weekend, when I get to go to the Ledbury Poetry Festival (I had a complaint in the week that I haven't said much about poetry lately, so there you are) and after that we're off to Wales for a week's holiday.

Pay nicely while we're away.

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