Tuesday, 4 November 2014

66. Pole Vault

Event: Pole Vault
Date: 19th October 2014
Location: Colchester Harriers, Arena Sports and Leisure Centre, Colchester 
Cost: Free
Rules: Competitors use a long and flexible pole as an aid to jump over a bar. Competitors plant their poles in a one-metre long box that is 60 cms wide at the front and 15 cms wide at the back. The crossbar is 4.5m wide. Once the vaulter leaves the ground he/she may not move their lower hand above their upper hand on the pole, nor move their upper hand higher on the pole. A successful vault is one in which the crossbar remains in place once the vaulter has left the landing area. Each athlete has three attempts at clearing each height and is eliminated if they fail to reach the height.

The Event:


Sarah: 95cm: xxx

Ellie: 95cm: xxx

London 2012 Olympic Gold Medal: 4.75m - Jennifer Suhr, USA.

Sarah: Pole vault! One of the big ones, and one of the most technically difficult events we've tackled so far. I wasn't expecting the mental barrier of flinging myself forward, up and over the pole, and looking at the photos I clearly wasn't raising my knees high enough; meaning I jumped straight into the bar each time. Despite not being my most successful event, I really enjoyed learning how to hold the pole and the technicalities involved. Once again, we had some of the young Harriers helping us, and showing us how it should be done; putting our efforts to shame!  

Ellie: Argh! Never miss the opportunity to try Pole Vault - it was super-fun! Our Harriers coach started us with some exercises to get us used to holding and relying on the pole. These mostly saw me rolling around on the soggy ground but, once I had a run up marked out (a very short one which was pleasing) and knew how to hold the pole properly it became possible to feel how you might use it to lever yourself up and over - if never quite getting it right myself. I'd loved to have kept trying this one as I did feel that the bar was mine for the taking but it's such an exhausting sport that it was wise to stop when we did. My aching muscles the next day were proof of that. Again, this is an event I'm sad to see the back of but what an experience! 

Massive thanks to our coach, Chris, and to Ellie and Jess for their amazing demonstrations and enthusiasm. You can follow Colchester Harriers Athletics Club on Twitter - @ColchesterH 

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