It was with great pride that the family Coupland packed up and headed up north for a weekend of athletics at Alexander Stadium in Birmingham. Robbie heading up on Thursday night with the Hampshire team, the pain from his hip now behind him, but a week out of training hanging over him like a dark cloud but a lot of positive thinking and ability assertion had him feeling good about the weekend. Alas though it was not to be, Robbie got boxed in early with the core group of runners, and throughout the race struggled with that position, never really making a positive move to break out of the pack, or at least not making a successful one. In the end, the last lap left him wanting and the final straight showed a Robbie, who to me was simply not anywhere close to fit. Completing his heat in 9th place but with a respectable time of 4’22”. Not a bad time, but ultimately not good enough, not good enough to qualify, and not good enough to score any “standard” points for the county. With Robbie out of the 1500m Saturday, final day, was just about the athletics, and with the disappointment of Friday’s results behind us the chance for the family Coupland, as a unit, to get behind all the athletes was great, and an excellent day of really enjoyable athletics was had.
Picture shows Robbie in 7th place with about 450m to go, had he managed to stick with it, 7th place would have been just enough to qualify, but on the day it was simply not to be.