It's the first event in the 2012 Olympic stadium this weekend, and for all the students taking part in the British Universities and Colleges Championships (BUCS) a fantastic opportunity to take part in the Games' showpiece venue. Indeed, given how the Olympic ticket allocation seems to have omitted anyone actually involved in sport, for nearly all it will be the only chance to set foot in the stadium this year. The weather is seriously cold for early May - it's strange to be putting on gloves to watch an outdoor athletics meeting.
The timetable is packed because with most events having about 60 to 80 starters, three rounds are needed to whittle down to a final of 8 to 15 athletes. For the endurance runners, it's a tough scenario of three races in three days, or in the case of the 5k and steeplechasers, a tough heat and then repeat in the final two days later.
The stadium is large although visually seems nothing special in the scenario of big stadia. The atmosphere is great - if you can't get excited by this then you are probably in the wrong sport. In fact, with about five sports having test events simultaneously in Olympic Park, that is actually a possibility although noone seems to have strayed in from hockey or waterpolo. (My own summary of the sport is 'Some guys were beating the hell out of each other in a pool and then some waterpolo kicked off')
Of course, high level sport is all well and good but nowhere near as important as customer feedback, and so it's perhaps not surprising that about an hour before the event actually starts, the father of one of the athletes is waylaid by an earnest clipboard-waving researcher to evaluate the 'Olympic Park experience so far'. At this stage the total experience comprises about a four minute walk across some gravel and an airport style security search to confirm that although his son may be a national level distance runner, he isn't using this as a decoy to try and destroy the place.