28 Apr The Season Ahead: 2014 Glasgow Games, Paula’s not-so-shocking retirement and Brendan’s Mo-inspired bestseller
Whilst Mo Farah hasn’t stunned the world (yet) by announcing a switch in citizenship to Nike and Kian from Westlife – not Charles van Commenee – triumphed in I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! Fairbs gives his crystal ball a good rub again and attempts to take a more accurate peek into what lies in store for the summer season ahead.
Loughborough win the BUCS Track & Field Championships yet again despite only seven members of the team making the trip. The African Violets – who blamed a ‘heavy’ social for their poor attendance – narrowly defeated Bath in the 4x400m relay to take the title.
Mo Farah is promoted to first place in April’s London Marathon after Alberto Salazar successfully appealed that all seven athletes who beat him should be disqualified. Wilson Kipsang (the original winner) was stripped of his title after his left shoelace was proven to be marginally too long.
Eightlane announce their fifth website revamp of the year. Apparently modeled on the Ryanair designs, the site will feature even more blogs from athletes who no one has ever heard of.
Ross Murray misses his return to action at the BMC Grand Prix in Manchester after his flight home from Ibiza is cancelled. He is pictured doing drills in a nightclub at 4am the following morning prompting praise for his ‘dedication’.
Richard Kilty fails to finish his first major race of the summer. The World Indoor Champion stopped running and began to celebrate after 60m of the Loughborough International ‘A’ 100m race.
Greg Rutherford is ruled out for the season after an incident involving a giant teddy bear, a pensioner’s walking stick and a can of Tesco Value Cider at Alton Towers. The Olympic Champion tells his Twitter followers to boycott the theme park, adding that he hoped to be back in 2015.
Guy Learmonth denies that his plans for the Commonwealth Games are in tatters after he spent three hours in a supermarket without being recognised. The 800m man told his Facebook fans that it was ‘merely a blip’ and that six people stared at him on the way home.
The Watford BMC Grand Prix takes place in driving rain and strong winds with every single athlete running a personal best. Officials deny any wrongdoing despite a timekeeper being overheard saying that the results ‘sounded about right’ before dashing into the warm and dry.
Brendan Foster releases a book about his love for Mo Farah and what he is doing for British athletics. Mo and Me – featuring Bren doing the ‘Mobot’ at various UK tourist locations – quickly becomes a bestseller.
Usain Bolt calls a press conference to announce that he is seriously considering opening a chain of coffee shops in Europe. Athletics Weekly publishes a five-page spread on how coffee can boost your performance.
Tyson Gay is caught fare dodging on the London Underground during a vacation. He claims that he ‘put his trust’ in his best friend’s Oyster Card and ‘was let down’ at an emotional press conference.
The AAA Championships take place at Birmingham Alexander Stadium. The BBC spend all 3 days praising the absent Mo Farah with Brendan Foster reading a poem he has written about the star. British Athletics deny that the event has been devalued despite their decision to invite foreign athletes to take part in and win every single event.
James Dasaolu sets a new British 100m record of 9.79 seconds at a Diamond League meeting in Lausanne. He then withdraws from all competition until ‘at least 2016’ citing a sore throat.
The England Commonwealth Games team is announced. Jenny Meadows is left out after not running for six months. In an interview with BBC Radio Five Live she calls the decision ‘unfair’ claiming that her aqua-jogging workouts had been progressing well.
Mo Farah makes his return to competitive action by setting a new 800m world record at the Glasgow Diamond League. His time of 1:39.99 left BBC commentator Steve Cram unable to speak whilst Brendan Foster began to cry.
Lance Armstrong is censured by the UCI after racing his son home from the supermarket on his pushbike. Despite Lance winning by three seconds, the result is reversed with Armstrong Junior being allowed extra desert at dinner.
The BBC station an outside broadcast team in Sheffield in preparation for the birth of Jessica Ennis’ first child. The Corporation claim it is in the public interest as the ‘Prince or Princess of Athletics’ is soon to arrive. British Athletics are forced to drop plans to sell tickets for the event after they sold better than for the Birmingham Diamond League.
The Commonwealth Games gets underway in Glasgow with First Minister Alex Salmond parachuting into the stadium during the Opening Ceremony holding a ‘VOTE YES TO INDEPENDENCE’ banner. The SNP leader is then heard to boo as Team England athletes walk into the stadium.
Still yet to race all season, Usain Bolt is pictured playing golf in the Algarve. Athletics Weekly diverts all journalists covering the Commonwealths to Portugal to try and find the sprinter.
After running 51.3 seconds for the first 400m and crashing out in the heats of the Commonwealth 800m, Marilyn Okoro tells the BBC that she ‘felt good for the first 100 metres or so’ and couldn’t work out what went wrong. Phil Jones then asks her about Mo Farah.
Shaftsbury Barnet are crowned BAL Champions after being the only team to turn up all season. The club holds a low-key celebration at their last home meet of the season.
Commonwealth Games bosses apologise after ‘forgetting’ to schedule both male and female Hammer Throw finals. The event is ultimately held behind closed doors after the Closing Ceremony.
Guy Learmonth makes a formal complaint to Royal Mail after claiming that his fan mail is ‘going missing’.
Eightlane announces an exciting link up with ‘an ordinary student runner, doing ordinary student runner things’. The first piece sets a new world record for being the longest article ever published not to feature a single example of correct punctuation.
Michael Johnson is criticised after appearing to be asleep despite being live on air at the European Athletics Championships in Zurich. In a statement, the 400m world record holder refused to apologise, adding that there are only so many times you can listen to Phil Jones asking athletes about the atmosphere in the stadium and whether they thought Mo Farah should run another marathon.
Team GB take Gold in the 4x100m men’s relay in spite of Adam Gemili clearly dropping the baton. Defending the decision not to own up, British Athletics performance director Neil Black tells the media that ‘no one was watching anyway’.
Mo Farah sets a new 5,000m world record of 12:29.45 at the Birmingham Diamond League. Brendan Foster badly grazes his right leg after tripping over whilst attempting to run onto the track to embrace him.
Paula Radcliffe announces her retirement from competitive athletics prompting embarrassing scenes at a press conference as reporters attempted to remember when she last raced.
British Athletics sack Alberto Salazar as a consultant after he attempted to get the entire British team disqualified at the World Mountain Running Championships. Salazar had claimed that Steve Vernon’s heavy breathing distracted some Oregon-based runners.
Usain Bolt – without a race all year – bemoans the ‘short’ season after realising he had missed it. Athletics Weekly attempt to organise a special ‘evening of sprints’ at a rainy Gateshead Stadium. The event is cancelled after the only athlete to confirm attendance is Richard Kilty.
Mo Farah takes out a restraining order on Brendan Foster after the BBC commentator sent him 1,043 text messages in just two hours telling him how much he admired him. Foster is no longer allowed within 400 metres of the Double Olympic Champion.
Eightlane is taken offline until November so that it can be ‘prepared for winter’. The rebranded site is said to feature a ‘slightly different shade of blue’.
Words: James Fairbourn