Behind the Scenes at IAAF World Championships 2017 [Part 4]


Surreal. That’s one of many adjectives I could use to describe my experience of the IAAF World Championships in London over the course of the last ten days!

When I was invited to partner with Skype’s SPIKES bot in attending the championships, I had little idea of what lay ahead.

Believe it or not, this was my first major athletics event. I’ve watched all kinds of live sporting events, all over the world, but never world-class athletics – the action certainly didn’t disappoint!

However, I was most blown away by the atmosphere, the crowd, the volunteers, and in particular what a fast pace each session at the stadium flew past with.

I know I was there with a job to do – creating social media content – but there was always something I wanted to see in the next minute or two. It called for some careful time management.

Of course, it was a privilege to be there for Usain Bolt’s final individual race, and to see Mo Farah call time on his track career. However learning more about athletes like Qatari High Jumper Mutaz Barshim was a real highlight of my week.

It’ll be no surprise to know I’ve been very run focused in my watching of athletics in the past, so expanding my horizons in terms of watching more jumps and throws has been fascinating.

Then there’s Hero the Hedgehog…

This guy (well, I think Hero is male, else he’d be called Heroine??) has single handedly captured the imagination of the audience, and raised the bar for future mascots!

I’ve become a little obsessed.

The evening finished with the Women’s and Men’s 4x400m relays, which provided a fantastic crescendo to the Championships. Before that though, I was lucky to witness Helen Obiri unleash a monstrous kick coming onto the home straight to win gold in the Women’s 5000m, leaving Almaz Ayana in her wake.

There are so many moments from the last ten days that will raise a smile as they come back to me in the next few weeks. An added bonus side effect is that watching the Championships has me now feeling super-motivated to get more focused in my own running. As a result, I’ve just entered a half marathon later in the year…

Has the IAAF World Championships left you feeling the same?

Last updated on March 2nd, 2021.


  1. Excellent write up u love athletics..your words are coming from heart.thanks for guiding on internet I like your analysis of running techniques..unable to recreate or train myself in having good technique ..can u suggest step wise relaxing the opposing muscles like quadriceps calves should be the priority before trying hard..I mean what should be the method to have balanced strength among all muscle of running..what schedule to follow..thanks

  2. Hi James loved your uptake and view points on world athletics in London. I was fortunate to attend sat 12 th and was astounded as you of the whole experience especially the relays and a new interest the javelin. My fascination was stride length of athletes in all distances but especially longer distance my question to you is how can we attain an increased stride length pattern regards Jo