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Friday 4 August 2017

Dirty Weekend In Whitechapel

I’m in London, again, by train, again, in First Class, again, only this time it’s not business but pleasure and a dirty weekend in Whitechapel with L and Mo Farah.

It has to be said that First Class just isn’t the same when you’re too late for breakfast and as we find out on the way home the perks are practically non existent on Sundays. If you want a drink, fetch it yourself from the buffet card, four coaches away. Thanks for that.

We do live it up a little on the way there, before we even get on the train, with wine and Prosecco at Nottingham Station which costs almost as such as the train tickets.

The Holiday Inn at Whitechapel turns out to be very swish and not at all seedy, shame. Then we head to the Olympic Stadium on the DLR where we join the huge security queues to get in. While we queue it gets me thinking that if someone wanted to detonate something for maximum effect then in the queue would be quite an effective option. Scary!

Of course these checks would be a hell of a lot quicker if practically everyone didn’t need to bring a huge rucksack with them. It’s a three hour athletics session folks, what can you possibly need to get through that?

I suppose the food options aren’t great and nor are the beer choices. The velodrome, just across the way, is much better so there’s no excuse really. We have a massive pasty thing and then pork roll afterwards. 

We arrive in time for the Opening Ceremony, which doesn’t really exist, then we see Mo win the 10k and everyone go ape for Bolt in the 100m heats. I’ve never quite understood this Bolt thing myself but then I’ve never really understood the attraction of the 100m either. 

We also see Laura Muir looking impressive in 1500m heats and get totally confused by the Pole Vault qualifying. It is one of my favourite events but they don’t make it easy to follow and, just to add to the confusion, there are three field events going on at once.

However it’s an excellent evening and it’s good to finally get inside the stadium. It's only took me five years. Then afterwards we are herded back towards the station down closed off streets whether we wanted to go there or not. We couldn’t get to a bar, which was all we wanted to do, and eventually ended up back in the hotel bar instead.

(Friday 4th August)

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