As the countdown to the London Games almost enters the single digit phase, and Olympic teams are locked down, emotions are reaching boiling point amongst the elite runners of this world.
As a runner myself and as a friend of runners who have either gained selection to the Games or missed out, it was interesting to see the full spectrum of emotions on display at last weekend’s Diamond League (or as I like to call it the “Bling” League) Crystal Palace meet (the final tune up for the big dance in August). It seemed that in any race of, say, eight people you would have one person who was on top of the world afterwards. They just stamped their mark as one of the Games favorites, sending shivers of fear down the spines of their Olympic competitors with their mind-blowing win and/or time (all despite the London horrific summer weather that didn’t fail to stamp its mark on the event).
Then there were the odd one or two in each race who, despite not winning, perhaps hit a PB or finally struck a purple patch of form. Then there were the four or five people who crossed the line with mixed feelings, their results being neither here nor there, and ultimately they’re just overcome with post-race tiredness.
Then there was the one or two athletes who were shattered, in body, mind and spirit. They pulled up metres from the line with a niggle that suddenly burst into a season-ending injury or they pulled out of the event without making it to the start line or they ran such a terrible race that their confidence ahead of London just hit rock bottom.
On the track there is everything from tears of joy all the way to tears of utter heartbreak … and this weekend, in London, there was even a red double decker bus to carry all those emotionally-charged GB athletes on towards the biggest few weeks of their lives.
Only 11 days to go …