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Great City Games 2011 – Deansgate, Manchester

16 May

My knowledge of athletics is only bested by my ability in athletics (I suppose that’s unfair. I was quite a good discus thrower back in the day and I do know of a fair few athletes). With that said, every two years whenever there’s an Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games or a World Championship I usually watch, more with passing interest rather than a dedicated follower of the course. With the exception of the London 2012 Olympic Games, where I have put down a few hundred notes for the chance to see a string of events, I’d doubt I’d pay to see athletics.

For free on the other hand? Oh go on.

Following the conclusion of the Great Manchester Run, almost on the finish line, was the settings of the Great City Games 2011. 11 races over the course of three hours, featuring Christine Ohuruogu (won the Olympic 400m Gold), Jessica Ennis (World Champion Heptathlete) and Tyson Gay (the second fastest man in the world. Ever). The weather was terrible, with the usual Manchester drizzle setting in early, but after the shock to the system, you kind of got used to it.

I won’t talk through the results – you can read the full results here – but standout performances go to Tyson Gay who ran 150 metres stupidly quick, Jessica Ennis who was the crowd favourite (ran in two races, coming second in the 150 metres sprint), and Andy Turner – the real star of the show – who won both the 110 Metres and 200 Metres Hurdles. He could be one to watch at London next year.

The show was designed to impress the wet crowd, with moody music, vignette videos promoting the main players, as well as music. Plus it was shown on BBC. It worked – before the final race you could cut the tension with a knife. Here are some photos!

The next year games are in Newcastle. If you’re in the city, I’d definitely go. It was a great way to spend an afternoon.

Further Photos Are Available on The You’re Supposed To Be At Home Facebook Page.