Barrie Roberts reports: These took place from 5th – 15th September in the Province of Venice, Italy and in particular in the cities of Jesolo, Caorle and Eraclea.
My wife Katie and I were in attendance for most of the Championships; we went sight-seeing in Venice on the one Rest Day. The weather conditions, the travel logistics and the Competition Timetable made it probably one of the most challenging and demanding championships which we have experienced during the past 10 years. Weather-wise we experienced everything from heavy rain with attendant thunder and lightning to continuous hot and sunny conditions.
The logistics of travel were difficult because the three cities and stadia and their environs were quite far apart (it was like holding a championship simultaneously in Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Dudley!)
The Time Table was not too sympathetic to the athletes e.g. the 10,000m track clashed with the 4k XC race, for many of the track races the women were competing far away from the men (this prevented the mutual support which takes place at most championships) and there were too many ‘last minute changes’ to the time table.
Over 4,000 athletes from more than 43 European nations and 18 non-European gathered in the Province of Venice. Katie and I were an active part of the GB&NI contingent. In the Medals Table GB&NI ended up third, behind Italy and Germany. A wide range of ability and age categories were in attendance ie. from 35 to 103.
I ran/competed in the middle distance track races at Jesolo. My times, in hot conditions, were as follows:
800m 3:31.93 Pos 11th.
1500m 7:08.18 Pos 11th
I also ran in the 5,000m at Eraclea, but at 8:15pm under floodlights. Warm conditions, but relatively cooler. I enjoyed competing.
At Caorle I competed in the 4k XC (we would have won the Team Silver Medal if the Management had submitted all our team names!) The Course was extremely convoluting, and due to very heavy rain prior to a delayed start (rescheduled timetable!) it was quite slippery underfoot.
I opted out of the 10k Road Race. I was advised not to over-race, and in any case it was extremely hot.
I was first reserve for the 4x400m Relays, but thankfully was not needed on this occasion.
We are looking forward to the European Masters T&F due to take place next Spring in Portugal. It would be great if there were a few BvHers participating. But you will have to join Midland Vets! It is an Indoor Championships, but there will also be open-air/non-stadia events. Masters Athletics is a very welcoming and inclusive fraternity.