6 Sep

Inspiration From Daegu

runners' feet

If you are anything like me, you will have been riveted to the recent IAAF World Championships from South Korea and the exploits of Bolt, Farah and friends (writes Chris Broadbent).

As far as watching sport goes, I believe there is little to compare with international championship athletics. Of course, football, rugby, cricket, tennis, F1 and the other major sports all have their great moments. But how often have you excitedly sat down to watch a cup final, big fight or a prestigious race and it has been a bit of let down? In contrast, championship athletics delivers nearly every time.

Usain Bolt thrashing the opposition out of sight can be equally as mesmerising as a tightly-fought javelin competition. As a runner, I take extra interest in the exploits of the athletes. Each one of them is pushing themselves to their physical limits, just as we runners try to. But it is only when you look again at the times, distances and heights, that it becomes truly remarkable.

The next time you are at the gym, try and crank the treadmill up to Mo Farah's 10k or 5k pace. He is running at just over 21kmph or 13mph. The chances are that your treadmill will not allow you anywhere near that pace. Mo can maintain that speed for at least 30 minutes and probably well beyond. You will be doing very, very well to hold onto it for a mere minute.

Or as another example, the long jump. In the men's event, 8 metres is generally considered to be the benchmark for world class jumping. Whenever you find yourself next in possession of a tape measure actually draw eight metres out and get a closer look at what we are dealing with. It's truly mind boggling. You can either be intimidated by these accomplishments or inspired.

Me? I took great inspiration from the Welshman Dai Greene's 400m hurdles victory. It was the way he maintained his hurdling technique and fluent running through to the finish. It was just so sheer, well, athletic. I don't see myself taking up 400 metre hurdling any time soon, but I do know I put a little extra vigour into my run that night. Thanks Dai.