Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Convertibles - Hungary Day 5

I've decided that medal ceremonies are a bit like convertible cars. You think people look a bit ridiculous in them, would feel self-conscious in one yourself and no doubt if someone were to post a picture on facebook of themselves in one you'd think they were a fuckin' helmet - but when you're driving along with the wind in your hair it doesn't feel too bad at all.

The only downside of a medal ceremony (when you came 3rd) is the lower podium makes you feel as though you're the lesser man in a Two Ronnies sketch and you have to listen to the Spanish national anthem. I vow to be back and "looking down on him" later in the week.

The atmosphere at the Championships is pretty good - although it is almost entirely reliant on the participants becoming the spectators and vice versa. Despite this slightly false feel the enthusiasm is genuine and as you get to meet people the camararderie increases.

As a competitor you have a pass, your uniform and a number and are required to declare your intention to run at least 2 and half hours before the start of the race. Once confirmed you report to the call room 20 minutes before and are lead out to the track 10 minutes prior to your race. At this point there's no turning back and, as I found out, no toilet paper. I'm ashamed to admit I had to pick a napkin off the ground and wipe the old bullethole with the edges because there was a piece of chewing gum stuck in the middle (of the napkin not my arse!).

After the race there's time to warm down before the medal ceremony where your arrival is accompanied by some cheesy music and a relatively good looking bird (nice cheeks but retaining a bit of fluid in the ankle area). You receive your medal, certificate and cheque for 1000 euros for coming third and are sent on your way.

There'll be no Day 6 blog because the non-racing days really seem to drag on. However I have changed my flight to will be competing in the 4 * 400m and, probably, the 4 * 100m relays on Saturday.

(..and yes, of course, there was no prize money)

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