Best moments of Berlin
So, after nine sunny, splendid and spectacular days, the world championships - or should I say Leichtathletik Weltmeisterschaften - have come to an end. And a rather good edition they've been, too.
As the Olympiastadion empties all around me, and random punters try to sneak past security to have a quick dash down the distinctive blue track (I'll be having a crack as soon as I spot an opening), thoughts turn to the various deeds of derring-do we've witnessed over the last week and a half.
What made Berlin so special? Which performances stood out from the rest, and which characters will forever be associated with the class of '09?
Having lined up well over a hundred contenders, I've asked the old brain to sift through them in a series of mental heats and semi-finals and produce a personal line-up for the final eight - and, once the finalists are established, the order in which they should finish.
It's not an easy process. Some remarkable moments/athletes/aspects have missed out on the medals. There may even be cases for disqualification and reinstatement. Then again, it is a Worlds. Competition for places is intense.
Have a read, do a little mulling over and stroking of chin, and then post your own line-ups down below. The BBC blogger's decision is far from final.
8. The crowds
More than half a million people packed out the stadium over the nine days, with three times that number lining the streets for the two marathons. Those who came were as knowledgeable and enthusiastic as any world championships has ever had. Wunderbar.
7. Steve Hooker
Struck down by injury, fearful he wouldn't be able to manage a single jump, the Aussie Olympic champ pulled one enormous effort from nowhere to snatch a stunning pole vault gold. Did it make up for what was going on simultaneously at The Oval? Let's not be silly.
6. The Olympiastadion
Forget the identikit steel-and-glass stadiums that are going up all over the world - the stone-columned pensioner has twice the ambience and a hundred times the heritage of any other track and field venue.
5. Kenenisa Bekele
Wasn't his training supposed to be ruined by injury? The 10,000m win was sweet and stylish enough, but the late, late kick in the 5,000m to see off Bernard Lagat and win the only global title that has previously eluded him was the stuff of legend.
4. Berlino the Bear
I've just realised I've got an eight-foot tall bear higher in the rankings than Kenenisa Bekele. That seems like madness, but then again, so did pretty much everything the best mascot in memory served up. Anyone need an excuse to watch the Melaine Walker hurdle disaster again?
3. Germany's throwing successes
A world champs needs a whole heap of gold medals for the host nation to truly come to life, and Steffi Nerius and Robert Harting delivered in rabble-rousing fashion. Almost every final in the throws, men's or women's, was an old-fashioned ding-dong delight.
2. Jess Ennis and the rebirth of the Brits
As the GB team left for Germany, some of its biggest names back home injured, Charles van Commenee's target of five medals seemed ambitious and unrealistic. That it'll return with six, two of the them gold, made this Britain's best Worlds since the legendary deeds of Christie, Jackson and Gunnell in Stuttgart 16 years ago.
1. Jesse Owens' granddaughter presents the long jump medals
Owens' shadow fell across these championships from start to finish, and everyone from Usain Bolt to the USA kit manufacturer paid tribute to him. When Marlene Dortch handed the gold medal to Dwight Phillips, there were lumps in throats all around the famous old arena.
Now, I know what you're thinking - there's someone missing. Here's the reasoning:
(a) if he'd been allowed in the main list there wouldn't have been room for anyone else, and
(b) he's clearly in a class of his own anyway
Bolt's Best Bits
8. Trying to do a breakdancing wave with Daniel Bailey moments before a World 100m final, and then laughing when it broke on the unresponsive shoulders of Richard Thompson
7. Warming up for the 200m in a t-shirt which had the words "Ich bin ein Berlino" scrawled on it in pen. Berlino later returned the favour by donning a t-shirt that read "Ich bin ein Bolt".
6. Racing Berlino down the back straight after his 200m world record, and letting the bear do what no human could do and beat him
5. Looking straight down the television camera's lens on the line for the 100m and uttering the immortal phrase, "I'm ready. Are you ready? Let's go!"
4. Not breaking the world record in the 4x100m relay final, and therefore putting his earlier deeds in the individual sprints into even sharper context. It doesn't happen automatically, you know.
3. Having 65,000 fans sing 'Happy Birthday' to him as he stood on the podium to receive his 200m gold medal. A stadium unites in adoration.
2. Running the greatest 200m race in history.
1. Running the greatest 100m race in history. Can I decide which one was better? No. But I'll remember both for as long as I live.