Another beautiful Sunday morning at the FB Fields after an earlier hailstorm. A track shimmering in the sun just begging to be used. But the only other people in sight are a young footballer being coached in ball skills on the infield. It’s a wonder that any local authority provides track & field facilities when they are used so sparingly. Up and down Britain the story is the same with vast open spaces that could provide housing or some income-producing venture. Irishtown Stadium, where my Dublin club Crusaders are the anchor tenants, is exactly the same. One day us athletics folk will wake up and the tracks will be gone and we’ll have no grounds for complaint, no claim that a track is desperately needed.
And yet, when the Olympics rolls around what will everybody be waiting to watch? What sport defines the Olympics above all others? But below international level the interest of the public is virtually nil. Britain’s top athletes can and do compete for their clubs in the British League in virtually empty stadiums. Try finding the results of our top domestic league on the BBC Sport website, or in more than one or two of the better daily papers. How track & field survives at all is a wonder to me.
But anyway I’m able to complete a comfortable 10 x 200m (200m walk/jog recovery) followed by my barefoot fix, 5 x 100m in blissful peace and isolation. This is the only session I’m enjoying at the moment with any longer runs being painful and tortuous. I know that it will improve but quite when I don’t know. At least yesterday (Sat) a hopeless four miles included following the old railway embankment behind St Clement’s Parish Hall and wondering again about the little stone bridge over what is today an inconsequential and hardly-used pathway but what must have been thought necessary to bridge in 1870. Thanks to Nick Catford’s excellent work I can now pinpoint in Rue du Hocq where Le Hocq Station was, at the junction of Rue du Hocq and Rue de la Houguette. The remains are incorporated into a private house there. From there the Victorian engineers made a cutting through the hill and under the coast road for the line to run down to Pontac. After the line was abandoned in 1929 the cutting was filled in but you can still follow its line along Kings Close. When the Germans reinstated the line it went over the top.
And at least my athletics spirits were kept high this morning by the Minis at Langfords. A pity it’s impossible to bottle that enthusiasm that is eroded too early in life. There’s been a delivery of Apollo javelins so, in the absence of anyone turning up for throws at FB, I got my coaching fix.
Miles on the week – 18.7
Miles ytd – 1,200.9