Sale Harriers Indoor Open Meeting

Sale Indoor Open - Sunday 10th March 2019 by Dave Greenwood

Like Pandora's Box, the Indoor arena swallows a surprising number of people. One minute it looks quite empty and seduces you into thinking there's not many there so it will be a short day. The call comes for 60m Sprints and out they come like a swarm of Bees buzzing around, chattering away in expectation. The hush falls and instead of the gun that scares the pants off people and awakens youngsters, there’s a softer electronic game noise and when there's a false start I thought at times I had gone back to the Nineties space Invaders game. Replacing the gun was a trial start system which was being used as an experiment; in the North of England with a view to becoming the new system. We will endeavour to seek more information from David Brown and report back.

 This was the renowned Sale Harriers Winter Indoor series, the Final event of the series in fact. As one would expect having seen the culmination of the major Indoor season with the Europeans in Glasgow recently, the numbers of athletes were not as great as there had been in early January. It's now the transition period when the rest do not look forward to the first freezing encounter with track and field outdoors. We usually get fooled into thinking spring is here, the Daffodils are out, Farah has stolen the limelight in the half and the marathon, it's Spring, then it goes grey, cold and wet again.

For the Sprinters and jumpers the relative warmth of Sportcity gets them ready again. The frustration of false starts and there were plenty, reminds people to go away and practice their starts again, he Long jumper who needs to take their run up a few inches back to hit the board. All are skills that are honed here. All that winter practice is not quite the same as competition.

On the positive side many will have left pleased with where they are at; a total of 99 P.B.s were recorded in the 60m!  That’s right 99 ! Come to Sale next winter and grab a P.B.

There were a number of 60m sprint races in the morning with the opportunity to go again at the end of the day with 300m races, hurdles and 600m. Two High jump beds were in action for the jumpers

The Pole vault; a wonderful facility which has helped raise the standard and popularity, was not as busy as it was at Vault Cardiff, an event nearly as good as Vault Manchester.

The invitation 200m Masters event saw 43 year old T.J.Ofori of Shaftesbury Barnet only just overcome Mike Coogan (V45) of East Cheshire in a time of 22.80, two athletes who would put many younger to shame. A measure of how good T.J. still is was his 60m time which was fastest of the day for all ages, in 7.60 seconds. I wonder how many of you will be in such good shape at their age ? Now there's a challenge.

Finally without the incomparable Jack Frost and all his co-workers this series would not be possible. Many of the officials are retired but spend most weekends officiating in Athletics. People like club stalwart Brian Goulden who had spent Saturday at the Inter Counties then all day Sunday at this. We should thank all these people and I'm sorry to say I recognise many but don't know all their names. Thank you to all those selfless people who dedicate themselves to this club and the sport.