So less than 7 days after getting to run on the Olympic track (it now feels like a distant dream), I was back inside the Olympic Stadium to watch the second day of the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games.
Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis-Hill were both in action; the event was billed as a second ‘Super Saturday’.
I was lucky to even get tickets for this, according to a number of sources tickets for the Friday and Saturday sold out in 75 minutes.
Pretty impressive for an athletics event.
We arrived in Euston in good time and got the Jubilee Line across to Stratford. On first impressions Westfield and the surrounding areas were really busy and I mean *really* busy. Last Sunday I had arrived at the National Lottery Anniversary Run a couple of hours early so hadn’t experienced the crowds. Add in the usual Saturday shoppers, and the whole area was pretty stressful. As the food offerings inside the Village didn’t sound that tempting, we grabbed some lunch in Greggs and headed towards the Stadium.
Getting through security was quick and painless, however, the walk towards the Stadium was really crowded. When we left a number of the bridges had been opened to allow the crowds to disperse. The organisers should have done that before the event started.
We walked past the healthy food offerings, found our seats (overlooking the finish line and under cover) without too much stress, and sat down to eat our lunch. A question for event organisers. Why allow so many fast/junk food outlets to sell their produce at athletics events? It’s hardly setting a great example to the younger fans. I’m pretty sure that Mo, Jess et al have a healthy diet.
After some fun and games (Sainsbury’s tee-shirts getting fired into the crowd), and an athlete’s parade, the real action started.
Who knew that watching people trying to control a giant Sainsbury’s balloon could be so entertaining!
After paying more than £50 each for our tickets, I hadn’t been prepared to fork out another £10 for an official programme. It was, however, quite easy following the action as all the athletes were introduced on a couple of big screens. We got a great view of Jess in the 100m hurdles, unfortunately we couldn’t really see her in the long jump.
So some highlights:
- Seeing Mo Farah flying around the track.
- Seeing Valerie Adams in action in the shot (I wonder why they didn’t present her Olympic gold inside the Stadium).
- Seeing Christine Ohuruogu win the 400m (bring on the World Championships),
- Seeing so many kids enjoying the action.
- Seeing some of the younger British Athletes getting the chance to perform on the biggest stage.
Some not quite so positive aspects:
- The empty seats; there were quite a few.
- Seeing Jessica Ennis-Hill struggling following her injury problems.
- Some disappointing Team GB performances, Steve Lewis in the pole vault, Chris Tomlinson in the long jump.
- The food options in the Village. I counted numerous burger vans, bars, fast food outlets. Where were all the healthy options.
- The £10 Official Programmes, it would have been nice to have been given a free/cheaper programme. I guess that Usain Bolt comes at a price.
Would I go to more live athletics events in the future? Yes, but only when they are held in Birmingham.