This past weekend I had the pleasure of competing on each day at the Olympic Stadium.
Day 1 was a 5 mile route around the olympic village that finished inside the stadium on the finish line of the track.
We had set off from doncaster at 5am in order to drive down and arrive in London. I had read there would not be changing facilities so thought I would just go down in my running gear as it wouldn’t be to cold. I also seemed to forget to pack any normal clothes for the weekend break, so literally just had running gear, no coat, no jumpers nothing.
Arriving in London; after spending a large amount of time being lost! I soon realised how cold it actually was. My wife and I were not prepared for this weather. Everyone else seemed to realise it would be freezing and was wrapped up warm. Being northerns we decided to grin and bare it. However 3 hours later this tactic was no longer working. So we had to resort to buying official Olympic jumpers. I was worried my son might get cold so I donated mine to him and used my tough northerner training to get through the shaking.
As race time approached we headed to our holding gate and all the issues of being cold were forgotten. We were position at the back of the second wave as we had no intentions of making this a fast run. Then over the loudspeaker came an announcement “the visually impaired runners are due to set off next”. What?? there was a special section we were supposed to be in? we dashed to the front and missed the start, we quickly joined in around a minute or so after once they realised the majority of the visually impaired also had no idea there was a special section as they all begin to gather behind us.
The run took a scenic tour around the park and we were able to run around the freshly built arenas. My wife had never run further than 3 miles and never run faster than a 10:30 mile. So we pushed it a little and ran slightly faster than that. Sian was struggling a little around the course but the idea of finishing in the stadium spurred her on.
As we entered the stadium we ran in the service tunnels and the adrenaline really kicked in. Our pace quickly increased to 9 minute miles and we shot out into the stadium. Running on the track felt fantastic and the stadium seemed huge. Crossing the finish line was a great feeling and we even received a really hefty medal.
The next day we returned to the stadium for the 100m sprint. This is certainly not my preferred running distance and I am not a fan of sprinting. The full range of motion and the intensity just has injury waiting to happen written all over it.
We Hund around the stadium for a while watching the other races and took advantage of the polar opposite weather of the previous day. After a couple of hours me and Neil Bacon headed down to our holding area to get ready for the sprint.
(Get ready for the excuses) We entered the warmup facility where I did a few warmups before heading out to the track. Once we arrived outside and walked out onto the track itself I realised I couldn’t see the lines defining the lanes. I asked for assistance from the staff but it was to late, I was told to go for it!
So unable to see the lines or even how far I should be running; on the sound of the gun I went for it. I apparently took an early lead but I felt myself drifting into another lane, so I eased off and concentrated on trying to stay straight. This apparently was my downfall as I was overtaken by not one but two people!
I finished the race 3rd and felt a little disappointed. But then took splice in the fact I had just done a 100m sprint in the Olympic stadium so who cares what position I finished in.
The weekend was fantastic and I managed to walk away with 2 medals to remind me of the events and some great memories to take away with me. I also managed to tear up my muscles; sprinting just aint for me.