Date: 19th July
Venue: Exeter Arena
Competition: South West Athletics Championships
Last weekend I took part in the 2015 South West Athletics Championships in the Senior Men’s 800m coming 5th overall in a Seasons Best of 1.58.13.
Has my season taken a turn
After running two times of 1.59.03 and 1.59.14 at the start of May I thought my season was on course to be a good one moving forward, however I have struggled with racing. I am training faster and stronger than ever, but when it comes to racing it just hasn’t been coming together. I think it’s a mixture of confidence and poor race form, I recently ran an open and ran the first lap in 56 and didn’t have the grit or strength to finish it off, and then ran a 59 first lap with ease in another race which left me too much to do.
I knew the field was strong at the South West Champs, with 4/5 guys running 1.55/56 this year, so I went in with nothing to lose and had to be brave. I sat on the back of the group and went through the bell in 56 and finished with a Seasons best of 1.58.13. I did lose the lead group on the back straight, so I know where to I need to work on in my next race. But to finally come away with a seasons best with around 5 races left to go this seasons I still believe there is chance for PB.
I do often peak in August, I never know why but it happens every year. So hopefully my times will start to tumble over the next month.
Is the South West Champs over hyped and over priced?
For Seniors entering the South West Champs it costs £7 per event with no discounts for more than 1 event. Years ago this used to be an event where your county selected you following the County Championships, however with the decline of the standard at Senior level at these champs, it has caused a decline in South West Champs. So I understand the need to make it an open event for people to enter themselves.
However, over the sprints there were only 2 competitors in the 100m, and 200m, and only one in the 400m. So athletes are still not turning up.
On arriving at the champs there is a cake stand, burger van, printed merchandise and ice creams. This tells you that this event is aimed more so at junior level but is it just becoming another money making event? And the programme, you’d expect something worth paying for, but it was just a register of everyone that entered. Pretty much impossible to work out who was in your event.
I do feel this event is still worthwhile, especially when the 800 attracted 9 Seniors, but there is a much needed rethink to encourage more to attend, make it value for money (the medals aren’t great in my opinion).