Track and Field meets for beginner types?

Is there such a thing as track and field meets for anyone to take part in?  I'm by no means quick enough to take part in proper club events, and I'd imagine that people 20 years older would beat me over 100m, but I'd love to have a go at that, or 400m or long jump - all these things I haven't done since leaving school.

I've heard about the bigger athletics league meets, but are there any small crap versions of these for people like me?  Competitive football is widely available at that rubbish Sunday league sort of level, but I can't a track and field equivalent.


  • A lot of clubs run open meetings. The quality of some of the runners will still be pretty good but the spread of abilities is also quite big as people tend to try out events they don't usually do or do multiple events in one day. The club I am am member of organises a handful throughout the year and its about £1 an event in advance or £1.50 on the day I think.

  • Try on here, although it's getting late in the season to find track meets now -

  • I wouldnt be too quick to assume that Open meetings are suitable for just trying things out. There arent any entry requirements as such but, as with other races, it is worth checking previous results to see what you're likely to be up against.

    The standards are often very high. As an example, three weeks ago I did a 3000m which had about 50 entries split into two races - I finished 22nd out of 26 in the B race running around 5:20/mile pace.

  • JoolskaJoolska ✭✭✭

    Look at which T&F leagues your local club(s) compete in and then check out the results.  Pick the club which competes in the slowest leagueimage

  • RatzerRatzer ✭✭✭

    I just took up track this summer for a change.  Season's nearly over but I managed a masters meet which was great fun.  There are all levels of abilities as some guys just want to give everything a go.  1m high jump, not a problem - you still score points for your team even in last place.

    The senior and junior meets seem to be highly competitive however.  This doesn't stop you attending.  I was told recently that I could compete with the seniors at 5000 and 10000 because the "youngsters" (who would thrash me over the distances) want to do the 800s and 1500s.  What you should do is step along to your local athletics club and see what they send teams to, and which meets they hold themselves.  Even the bigger, faster, higher clubs have lower league teams if they can get the numbers.

    Anyway, the training is great fun.  I hadn't done a 100m in nearly 25 years and the sprint group welcomed me with open arms!

  • JoolskaJoolska ✭✭✭

    Some leagues now have minimum heights for the jumps.

  • Thanks to all, really appreciate the information.  It's definitely something I'll be looking into with a view to taking part next summer.

  • DustinDustin ✭✭✭

    if you are over 35 there are vets league meets, otherwise some clubs - as has been said - do opens, but would say do check previous results not only for standard but also number of entries.
    The vets league have no real minimum standard, but there are some decent athletes. I'm by no means the best, but have (when short) done the steeplechase, triple jump , 800m and relay in one evening before now, and to be fair the first time I did the hammer I was 42 (and I'm not a hammer thrower...)
    Done open meets before , did the triple jump with all the males from U15 up once. It was intimidating at first, but the overall impression I had was that of encouragement. Not quite as bad as lining up for the 1500, looking across the field and realising - one 30yo apart - the rest of them were half my age. I wasnt last.

    As for minimum height, only ever come across it for logistic reasons (the bar has to be higher than the crash mat). 1m80 pole vault anyone??

  • My club does loads of athletics stuff as well as basic running. They're pretty competitive and take it very seriously yet the guys who organise it are always encouraging anyone and everyone to come along and have a go to make up the numbers. They tried to talk me into doing the 100/200/400m last week, which would be a total joke as I'm an absolute slowcoach. I actually couldn't decide if they were taking the mick or not! Anyway, like Joolska says, pick a club that competes in the slowest league then just go and have a bash at it.


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