European Masters Indoor Championships,
Ancona, Italy
29 March to 3 April 2016


A return to Ancona, which had first hosted the European Masters Indoor Championships in March 2009. I had good memories of that competition, and I was running well when I arrived in Ancona this time.

My schedule was tough. In the six days of the Championships, I raced six times. For the majority of the rest of the time, I was working on the track with my camera, for up to 10 hours a day! However, I did take two afternoons off, between my races, in order to rest.

Tuesday 29th March
I had my 60 metres heat mid-morning and the semi-final in the early evening. In between, I returned to my hotel for a sleep. As a result I have no photographs at all from this day. In the 60 metres heats, I ran my fastest race since March 2010 to qualify for the semi-final. In the semi, I think I was sleeping on the starting blocks when the gun went, and was fortunate to just scrape in to Wednesday evening's final.

Wednesday 30th March

A very varied day. In the morning, I photographed the women's 3,000 metres track races, but missed nearly all of the men's races because I chose to return to my hotel to gets some sleep and rest before racing in the 60 metres final in the evening. I have no regrets about that.

I placed sixth in the 60 metres final, which was an exceptionally close race. Just one-hundredth of a second separated 4th, 5th and 6th places. The photo below, taken by the Italian stadium photographers, gives and indication how close it was. That's me, on the far left. We knew who had won, but as you can see, were all looking at each other to see who had finished where.

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For an hour or so after my race, I photographed a few of the other 60 metres finals, by way of warm-down from my event!

Photos for the day are here.

Thursday 31st March
No rest for the wicked. No sooner were the 60 metres races out of the way for me than the 200 metres began. I had heats mid-morning and a semi-final mid-evening. Understandably that, plus time resting in between back at my hotel, affected what I could photograph. I caught a few 200 metres races, and the track walks on camera. Nonetheless, I'm quite pleased that I was still standing at 11pm that evening as the 800 metres finals came to an end.

I ran poorly and was eliminated in my 200 metres semifinal, so finding myself with two days free of race commitments before Sunday's relays.

Thursday's photos are here.

Friday 1st April
A surprisingly, and refreshingly, short day for me. I shot a few jumps and the 200 metres finals in the stadium and that was about it.

The few rather good photos of the outdoor race-walk in the gallery below were taken by my wife on her iPhone.

Friday's photos are here.

Saturday 2nd April
A very long day, but I was able to cover almost all of it behind the camera because I had no races.

I admit I ran out of imaginative ways to shoot 400m races, it being the day of heats and semi-finals. I had great fun shooting the hurdles races and saw some superb performances by several of the Great Britain squad. I was beginning to flag a bit when all of the 1,500 metres finals began, but made it through!

Saturday's photos are here.

Sunday 3rd April
And so, the final day. There were nearly tears before bedtime when, on Saturday evening, the Ancona organisers decided to bring Sunday's men's 4x200 relay events forward an hour. At least three of us in my team turned up unaware of this until we arrived at the stadium. Good job we were all early birds, or involved in the morning's events too. With that excitement over, it was back to photographing 400 metres runner, this time in their finals.

I'm happy to report that, with the aid of my lead-off leg, my relay squad won a silver medal behind our arch-opponents, Germany. Just as it had been in Ancona in 2009. I was very quickly back on the track to photograph a few of the later relays, before being called away for our medal ceremony.

My wife stepped out of the arena for some fresh air during the morning and caught a few photos of the cross-country event. Various other hands shot the pictures of our relay medal presentation on my Iphone. Thank you.

And then we all went home.

Sunday's photos are here.