One of the great things about athletics is that even as a seasoned campaigner you never stop learning and experiencing new things. I was delighted to compete for Team England at an exciting and innovative new format of athletics meetings in Melbourne, Australia, known as the Nitro series.
Teams from England, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, China, and a select team of the Bolt All Stars (captained by the world’s fastest man Usain Bolt) competed in traditional events such as the 100m and 1 mile , but also some alternative events such as a mixed 2 x 300m relay and a 3 minute distance run. The three meetings saw some fantastic performances, but they also gave fans the opportunity to mix and engage with the athletes in a much more personal way and get closer to the action than ever before.
Personally, I used the meetings to get some good early season efforts in and to give me a nice break in my training block. I was happy with the way I performed and it confirmed to me that my preparations for my home London World Championships in the summer are progressing nicely.
I have fond memories of Melbourne after winning my first ever major title here back in the 2006 Commonwealth Games and those memories are only enhanced by the support and passion shown by the Australian fans this time around.
The series was ultimately won by the Bolt All Stars but overall I feel athletics was the winner as we managed to reach out and hopefully inspire a new generation of fans and recruit some potentially world class athletes among them.
After a short trip back to the UK to see my family, I will be off again soon for the next stage of my training. Even after all these years, I’m still tweaking my programme to find the extra 100ths of a second, but most of all, I am still enjoying my athletics and savouring every moment of the journey as I go.