One Moment in Time – Tissues Required!

So despite the Wildcats best efforts to ruin my day by losing 36 – 0 at the stoop (and to think I carried their flag round for 5 miles so I could wave it in the Sadium – pft!) nothing was going to take the shine off what was a truly memorable day.The thing is, where do I start, so much to tell ……………….

Once upon a time there was a lady called Pat, she was one of the best people I ever knew, kind caring, hilariously funny and had a real fighting spirit. Sadly cancer took Pat from us before she ever got the  chance to put up a fight. Pat is the reason I run today. At the age of 34 I did something I hadn’t done since my teenage years, started running. That Race for Life  back in 2005 was the start of something I never expected, the start of me becoming a runner. The follwing year saw me line up for my first ever Marathon and with Pat looking down on me I’ve gone from strength to strength. Fast forward a few years and here I am about to race in the Olympic Stadium. To be honest I’d give all my medals back to have Pat here with us today sharing what she started. But as I ran into the stadium and the sun briefly came out I knew she was watching.

Right you can put your tissues away now, I just wanted you to understand why this run was more than a chance of a life time for me.

So race day dawned, and in a total contrast to the day before it was absolutely bloody freezing. Great for running – terrible for spectating.To say I was nervous was an understatement. It’s never taken me so long to eat a weetabix. Thank god I didn’t opt for the cooked breakfast like Ernie. Travelodge’s seemingly only cook in something that pings when its ready -hence the rubber food-  you should have seen the lasagne the night before, I’m still chewing the lasagne from the night before! Anyway, breakfast over we headed to the newly built (for the Olympics) Westside Shopping centre so I could buy another layer of clothes to keep me warm – honestly it was that cold!! The shopping centre ( it’s huge) was overflowing with Red-T-shirted runners all nodding excitedly at one another as they passed.

Shopping done it was time to queue to get into the Olympic Park, what a queue. Photographers and Celebs (allegedly – don’t get me going on the celeb thing!) got in early – amazing how many people thought Flawless were Diversity – then they realised they weren’t,  quote ‘where’s the big dude’ Bet poor Ashleys well chuffed!! So we waited and a guy in an orange high viz and a Walkie talkie kept saying won’t be long now – lying git!! To be fair they weren’t that slow, pretty organised for a first go. These huge tents opened and there inside was an airport – no really- scanning machines, carousels the lot ,only thing missing was Tie Rack and a WH Smiths. Poor Ernie,who’s shed a fair few pounds recently, had to take his belt off and then shuffle throught the scanner trying to hold his trousers up. I didn’t laugh!

We were in. The Olympic Park spread out before us in all its glory, well some of it did, some of it will when its finished! I’m sure come the opening ceremony it will all be finished but I did expect it to be completed, sort of …..now! Don’t get me wrong, its amazing, simple in parts but then that’s probably what’s so good about it and I’d love to see it again in July when all the flowers are in bloom and the Olympic flags are flying.

So, just what did I see.Well as you enter the park you see the Aquatics Centre, and Water Polo Arena – both pretty impressive and finished. Next up was the Orbit, which I think is finished, but it does still seem to have some scaffolding on it – or is that just part of it. Hard to tell really because I’m not that sure what its meant to be/represent. But it is an awesome bit of construction (art!!!) and even more fascinating there was a bloke stood at the top, is he stark raving mad?!?! Then we came to the Olympic Stadium. Now I’ve got to say when you first enter its no Wembley or Old Trafford for that matter but when you run onto the track and get a different view it definately takes your breath. Again, I can’t wait to see it come opening day.

The run took us further into the park, passing the Basketball Arena and The Velodrome – my favourite, you could see the BMX Track across the road, I’d love to have a go at that! On to the Riverbank Arena (Hockey) and the Copper Box (handball). I seem to recall lots of work still going on around here. On top of all that there are lots of waterways and greenery and you can definately imagine all of it been put to good use for years to come.

So to the run. Well there was definately a touch of excitement in the air – lots of giddy people, me included. Once in our starting areas, the warm up started. Now that was good, if you didn’t know the person either side of you before the warm up, you did after. Its fair to say we were standing very close together!! Warmed up and raring to go we then patiently waited for our start – by this point I was an emotional wreck and having some dude singing ‘You Raise Me Up’ didn’t help.

So Princess Beatrice waved us off and my moment had come, my Olympic Run. Highlights, all of it really. The workmen cheering us on, the drummers, the brass band, the sights, even the bloody big hill – I thought London was flat. But the best bit by far was the Stadium, running underneath was awesome, Chariots of fire played as we ran round and the huge roar as you entered the track is a sound I shall remember forever. So I ran my lap, my Wakefield flag held a loft for all to see (except for Ernie – who missed it). I ran the final straight as if I was going for gold and for me it was my gold medal and memories that will last a lifetime.

So stats for the day

5 miles (though many are claiming it was further) in 41:27

1975th out if 5707

266th out of 824 in age group and 68th out of 398 women in that age group

422nd out of 2700 Women

And I beat Princes Beatrice!

Not a bad day really

Best Day Ever

 

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