No sooner had I crossed the line and it was time to think about running again.
As we left the stadium to rejoin family and friends, the queues to exit were large. This meant a very warm and humid walk out through the tunnel from the finish line to collect our goody bags. If you weren’t sweating already, this felt like a sauna. We all came out drenched!!
When I got back to the seats where Denise and the boys were sat, I saw Steve and his son Harrison who’d travelled up for the day to enjoy the post-Olympic experience. Denise and Steve were scanning the track to see if they could see me heading for the finish line. They were a little shocked when I said hello!
As I rejoined them, I checked out the contents of the goody bag. An opened and half-eaten bag of crisps (!), some pistachios, flyers and the all-important souvenir medal.
As we watched some finishers cross the line, the female violin group Bond were on stage. Most of the spectators seemed to be largely ignoring the entertainment that had been organised for the day.
I opened the bag of pistachios and grabbed a mouthful. They were mighty-crunchy. It suddenly struck me that you weren’t supposed to eat the shells. D’oh!! Trying to spit out the crunched up shells was a messy affair!
It wasn’t long before Denise, Daniel and I had to assemble for the start of our run with the other 1997-ish runners taking part.
The National Lottery Anniversary Family Run was open to parents and their children aged 5 and over. A maximum of 2 adults were allowed per family group.
We had about 1/2 an hour before the start as we collected some water and entered the assembly pen.
The atmosphere was great and everyone was chatty.
As the last few minutes passed, another amazing Olympian, Victoria Pendleton, was interviewed on the big screen. She had run in the 5 mile run.
To ensure there wasn’t too much congestion, the 2000 of us were let off in small waves of about 400 runners. Before long, we were off.
We started well with Denise and Daniel running at a comfortable pace.
It wasn’t long until Denise needed to walk though and we adopted a run/walk strategy through the rest of the run. Daniel would have happily run the whole distance and needed reining in to stay back with us.
After about 1.25 miles, we were in the tunnel under the stadium. Even though I’d run it no more than 90 minutes before, the tunnel seemed longer than i remembered. Denise took 2 walk breaks and would have taken more had Daniel and I not started running again.
We soon entered the stadium and Daniel was off. He kept looking around the stadium at the spectators. I’m not sure if he realised just how lucky he was to get the opportunity to run on a track which, a little over a year before, had seen amazing experiences from Team GB and Paralympic GB athletes.
As we ran around the track, I video’d Daniel on my iPhone. The footage is a little unstable but will hopefully be a reminder of a special day.
Daniel and I made a sprint for the line and our shared family experience was complete. What a day. What an experience.