London Calling

Made the epic journey down to Crystal Palace on Friday for the inaugural UKA Disability Challenge, and it was epic – 9 hours in total, with the last 15 mile taking 2 and a half hours – London is an absolute joke to get anywhere at any time, I seriously don’t know how anything gets done in London. I did lose it quite spectacularly when we eventually got to the hotel but couldn’t turn in because it was a bus lane, I went Morpeth mental as we had to go back round the one-way system. When we did pull up outside the Jury’s Inn, there was no where to park and I was searching the streets at 10pm looking for somewhere to park. It wasn’t the best start to the weekend – I’m thinking of heading down to London now and I might be there in time for the Paralympics in 3 years time.

I have to be honest and say I was less than optimistic about how this competition would run, as they were putting it all on over one afternoon. But I’ll hold my hands up and say it ran very well and was well organised, credit to UKA – which is unusual for me. My competition was at 5.20pm, and I thought I might be throwing at midnight by the time everything ran late but it was all bang on time. I’m getting used to being a one event athlete, I like it, I had a very relaxed morning and afternoon before my competition. I threw a season’s best 32.91 metres to win the competition which was a decent standard, and one I may well have lost a couple of months ago. It means I’ve improved in every competion this year, going from 27.98m in April, which is certainly what you want as an athlete, and while 32.91m is only 1.46m off the distance I threw in Beijing, I was slightly disappointed because I felt I had a lot more in me.

Got a few more competitions coming up, and if I can continue improving it will show that I can still perform to a world-class standard even with a knackered hip. I do think there is a lot more to come as I didn’t start training until January so I’m a few months behind. My next competition is tonight at Jarrow, I haven’t competed at Monkton Stadium for about 10 years, when I was just a young’un, so it’ll be nice to throw there.

At the weekend there were more controversial classification decisions, and classifiers are a bit like football referees in that they make important decisions that affect peoples careers and the sport as a whole, but they won’t explain or discuss the issues, they just hide away. I know it’s a thankless job being a classifier but there needs to be a lot more transparency and openness – I really think something is drastically wrong in the way athletes are being classified in the cerebral palsy seated classes and its threatening to wipe out lower classes. Some common sense needs to be applied as recent decisions have just been crazy.

Competition Play List:

If You Ever – East17
Even a Little – Indigo Colony
Ever So Slightly – Lenzman
Let’s Lightning – Pull Tiger Tail
Girl All the Bad Guys Want – Bowling for Soup
Rock Star – N.E.R.D
Local Boy in the Photograph – Stereophonics
D Origional – Jeru the Damaja
Around the World – East 17
I Need Your Loving – Baby D
Playing With Knives – Bizarre Inc
Temper Temper – Goldie
Machine Gun Funk – Notorious BIG
There is a Light That Never Goes Out – The Smiths
Teenage Dirtbag – Wheatus
Jericho – The Prodigy
A Bit Patchy – Switch
The World is Yours – Nas

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