Monday, 2 April 2012

The day I ran at the Olympics.

Yesterday was my big day- I got to do my 100 metres in the Olympic Stadium. I got the opportunity to take part in the Gold Challenge Olympic Stadium Event for being a top fundraiser and getting over the £1500 sponsorship mark.

I had my knee operation almost 2 months ago now, and I was hoping 2 months post op I would be able to at least jog the 100 metres but unfortunately my 'recovery' isn't exactly going according to plan and when I saw the consultant 2 weeks ago he gave me the great news that I can chuck the splint in the bin and the bad news that I need to go back on crutches- so that's that's how I 'ran' my 100 metres, walking on my crutches.

Back to The Olympics. Steve and I got on a coach down to London yesterday morning and hopped (literally) on the tube to Stratford. It was great to get a first look at the Olympic Park, it is dominated by the stadium and has the swimming, water polo and basketball arenas near and also the Olympic Village. They are still doing work on it- but it looks amazing. When we got to the stadium my we got directed through the disabled access so we didn't have to queue (benefit of crutches #1) and Steve made his way up to the stadium and I made my way to prepare for my race. While waiting for my race I got to watch all the participants of the parade, and didn't freak out too much when the mascots came past (think Whitley Bay). I was in the top fundraising group and within our group the participants ranged from serious athletes, a man dressed as a rhino and a 5 year old girl. Each group was split into 2 (one race on back straight and one on front straight) and found that my race was me and the serious athletes. We got led into the stadium- into the warm up track first. The warm up track is inside and was massive! I hope that after the Olympics it holds some junior sports hall athletics competitions because it would be amazing for that. There were some very motivating helpers in the warm up area getting us warmed up- I had to politely decline the star jumps and lunges! We were then led out on to the track- there were about 20,000 people there so the atmosphere was amazing! We were led out to the back straight and the other group went first. After watching the rhino sprint I am relieved he wasn't in my heat.

Then it was time for my race. I obviously didn't do a crouch start as it takes me about 5 minutes to get up off the floor. The gun went and we were off. Well, from my view at the back it was a very good race with some good sprinters. Within about 20 seconds the rest of the race was finished (and I had covered about 20 metres) and all attention was on me! The crowd support was amazing and they got louder and louder the closer I got to the finish. I was on the big screen for the majority of my race so got loads of great support. The experience was amazing and I am so glad that I decided to do it. My aim was not to trip over and make it to the finish and that's exactly what I did.After my race we got our medals and Gold Challenge T Shirts and made our way up to the stand. I was able to watch the last few races and some of the entertainment before me made our way back home to Cirencester.

The whole day was an amazing experience and I am so glad to be given the opportunity. The stadium is awesome and the atmosphere was great. I have woken up today with aching arms from the crutches (hoping it's toning my arms up- benefit of crutches #2). I am exhausted but it was so worth it.The Olympic Stadium Event is over but I still have a way to go on my Gold Challenge.

Thank you to everyone who has sponsored me so far as you helped me raise enough to go to The Olympics! I have boccia (I have recently learnt it's pronounced botcha), shooting and maybe dinghy sailing in the next month or so and I am hoping to try sitting volleyball, goalball and wheelchair rugby when I have recovered a bit more. Of course there is still plenty of time to sponsor me if you haven't already. The challenge goes all the way to the Olympics. You can do that here.

It is for Dementia UK, an amazing cause.

Thank you again to everyone who has supported me- it is very very much appreciated


  1. yeh Betman,well done, are you the only person to have 'run' in the olympic stadium on crutches? if so you should be in the guiness book of records. good luck for 'botcha'

  2. I think I might be you know! Thank you :-) Will let you know how the 'botcha' goes, they're open again after the holidays so doing it then. I am then doing sitting volleyball. That sounds fun!