Having participated in the previous NIA meeting in February, very green, wearing my asics trainers which had been destroyed at the XC nationals in Cork & with no clue how to use the blocks I really felt I had unfinished business.

The warm up area in Abbotstown is a very interesting place and it gives someone of my lets say modicum of ability a chance to mix it with serious athletes. I really watched with interest Brian Gregan who has a time of 45.42 in the world champs warm up & how his coach was at pains to tell him “you can’t take it home with you” leave it all on the track in other words, a maxim I decided to adopt myself. Brian subsequently went on to be 2nd in his heat losing out by a couple 100th’s of a second not unlike myself as it happens (cough).

As Brian would probably tell you, the 400m is a tricky event. You can’t go hell for leather or you’ll burn out, go out too slow and you could lose touch & keeping it steady can be a struggle.

Drawn in the widest lane 6 also means you have no idea what’s happening in behind. Anyway I got a half decent start out of the blocks & was travelling at a clip hoping to be in the lead by the cut away which was how the race transpired but before the final bend I was almost out of gas & was passed by lactic Luis which he was dubbed by the commentator. Lactic Luis was in all sorts of trouble in the final straight as his legs nearly went from under him on 2 occasions I only copped this with about 30 metres to go & tried to rally but lactic Luis managed to fall over the line ahead of me by 4 100th’s of a second, D’oh.

I still came away with a new pb of 63.01 shaving 6 seconds off my previous attempt which I would have easily taken at the start. Spikes are the key folks.

There were 3 other Sportsworlders competing on the night, 2 of which entered the record books. Huge congratulations to Katie Nugent who was 3rd in the 800m also beating her sister, Siobhan, I might add in a time of 2.39.40 & Conor Keating who just keeps improving also finishing 3rd in the men’s mile in a serious time of 4.50.86. Declan Brady also ran a fine race in the men’s 800 & gained an indoor pb for himself. Declan also discovered the sensation of the now infamous indoor metallic burn.

It really was a night of records as Nick Griggs smashed the European indoor U20 mile record in a time of 3.56.40 almost catching Olympic semi finalist Andrew Coscoran. His coach went on to describe him as an aerobic animal, remind you of anyone (ahem).

Special thanks to Deirdre O’Connell who is auditioning for a role with the AAI as live track side reporter as the email group can attest.