European Masters Track & Field Championships 2017 – Aarhus, Denmark

Barrie Roberts Reports: My wife Katie and I have just returned from EMACS 2017, where 34 countries have been competing against one another on the track, on the road and on cross country terrain. We were part of the GB&NI contingent, and I was wearing the newly designed British Masters strip, which replaced the old and iconic red,white and blue horizontal stripes. `We` were second in the Medals Table (208),behind Germany who had 407 medals. Germany had the largest team,by far, at these Championships.

I competed/`took part` in the 400m,800m,1500m and 5000m track races + 4k Cross Country + 4×100/4×400 Relays.

The Time Table of Events was difficult/challenging ,at this particular championships, for middle distance runners (or `aspiring` middle distance runners!). eg.I found myself competing in three separate races
in the space of 21 hours; namely, the 4k Cross Country, 1500m Final and the 400m heats. The crowd were appreciative of my endeavours in the 400m, where I gave a vintage demonstration of `running in treacle`!
(although I am the Welsh Masters Champion for 400m for this year,and competed in both the Indoor and Outdoor Inter-Area competitions, I do not currently have the pace to take-on the Fastest men in Europe) ie.In
short,it was one race too many. Over racing is something which we, all too often, only identify with the benefit of hindsight.Perhaps it happens more frequently to optimists!

I did do some preparations for these Championships, but clearly not enough. However, I did run reasonably well, albeit slightly `off the pace`,in the 4k Cross Country and 5,000m track. It was a relief to win a Team Bronze Medal in the 4x400m Relays; especially, as `we` were disqualified in the 4x400m the previous day (Rule 170.7 IAAF). I am looking forward to resuming some meaningful and effective middle distance training, once I have `shaken off` a heavy cold.

PS.Any member of Bournville Harriers who is a Master runner (35years +) can run for GB&NI in red,white and blue long as one joins one of the countries/areas or regions which make up the British Masters
Athletic Federation eg. Midland Masters, Southern Counties, Northern Vets, Welsh Masters, Northern Ireland Vets (see Websites). There was a Half-Marathon Road Race at EMACS 2017 and there are BvHers who would have performed/participated well there. Performance,Participation, Encouragement and Enjoyment are very much a part of the BMAF/EMAA scene.

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