2nd February 2018

From the Archives: British Indoor Championships Memories

Donna Fraser, four-time Olympian (finishing 4th over 400m in 2000) and now Equality, Diversity & Engagement Lead for British Athletics:

I always loved running indoors, despite the challenge of my long stride length tackling the bends and it goes without saying my favourite indoor track was Birmingham, especially if I was in lane 6!

My fondest memory at a British Indoor Championships was in 2009, which was also the European Indoor Trials, where I entered the 200m and 400m – a big ask I know, but I never turn down a challenge.

The Sheffield crowd was awesome, giving me that extra buzz and that feeling of floating round the bends, is hard to describe, but I had that feeling in both finals.  To come away from that weekend winning both titles was a huge achievement for me; one of many highlights of my career!


Mark Shearman MBE, athletics stalwart and photographer of the sport since 1962, a time in which he has covered 14 successive summer Olympic Games with plans for a 15th at Tokyo 2020:

The first British Indoor Championships I photographed were in 1963 at the Wembley Arena, and I have only missed a handful since then.

I’ve witnessed many great athletes in action, but arguably the greatest was double Olympic champion Seb Coe who won three indoor titles.

My photograph is of him in the 1981 championships at RAF Cosford, where he enthralled the spectators as he floated effortlessly to victory in the 3000m.


Stan Greenberg, formerly of the BBC’s athletics team for televised events, Stan is a highly-respected statistician and author:

Actually one of the most outstanding of my Indoor Champs recollections is not really to do with the athletics themselves. It was a few years ago, at the championships held in Sheffield, and I was sitting in the press tribune when my attention was drawn to a chap just in front of me. He seemed to be getting progressively more agitated, and he was twisting his head from side to side and wildly muttering. I asked him if there was anything wrong, and he told me that he was from a certain news outlet and that he had never been to indoor athletics before – in fact he admitted he had rarely ever been to any athletics. Apparently he had been sent by his outlet (not renowned for its coverage of the sport) because there was some “scandal” about to break.

What was upsetting him was the number of events going on at the same time, so that he didn’t know where to look first. I calmed him down and explained that this was the special thing about indoor athletics – there was always something going on, and that there was a special skill involved in following it. He wasn’t happy, and soon went down to the mixed zone, apparently to get his story from which he never returned!

Perhaps more appropriate and relevant to athlete performances, I particularly remember the 1971 champs, where a remarkable 14 year old Sonia Lannaman won the 60m (in 7.5), and Margaret Beacham front ran a world best in the 1500m of 4:20.5.