Helsinki 2012 European Athletics Championships
I flew from London to Helsinki for 6 days and I hired a mountain bike as soon as I got there.
I had a season ticket that gave me entry to every athletics session.
However, I missed most of the morning sessions and rode around Helsinki and the forests of Kansallispuisto National Park.
I met up with Steve Rippon (now living and coaching in Lahti, Finland), Ole Kvist (Danish pole vault coach), and Dave Hodge (CEO of Gill Athletics), and we watched the pole vault competitions.
This is Anastasia Savchenko (RUS) in the Women's Pole Vault Qualification.
She later jumped 4.50 m for 4th place in the Final.
Sally Peake (GBR) cleared 4.15 m in Qualification and did not advance.
In the background of this photo are Angelica Bengtsson (SWE), Lisa Ryzih (GER), and Martina Strutz (GER).
Men's High Jump: Robbie Grabarz (GBR) won on countback with 2.31 m.
Here he is celebrating his victory.
For some of the time I sat next to the Mixed Zone to watch the athletes come off the track.
Here is Linsey Sharp (GBR) after her second place in the 800 m.
She was later upgraded to first place after the doping disqualification of Yelena Arzhakova (RUS).
The Women's Pole Vault Final was hindered by wet conditions.
The medalists were Jirina Ptachnikova (CZE), Martina Strutz (GER), and Nikolia Kiriakopoulou (GRE); all at 4.60 m
The Men's Pole Vault was very competitive.
Renaud Lavillenie (FRA) cleared 5.97 m for the win.
Bjorn Otto (GER) cleared 5.92 m for second and Raphael Holzdeppe (GER) was third with 5.77 m..
The usual stupid mascots.
The GBR Men's 4 x 400 m Relay finished in second place behind Belgium.
Here are Rob Tobin and Nigel Levine celebrating.
The Borlee twins (BEL) are in the background.
The day after the competition I took the ferry from Helsinki harbour to the Suomenlinna Sea Fortress.
Here I am next to a 1930s Finnish submarine.
Click here to go to LONDON 2012 OLYMPIC GAMES