The National Lottery Anniversary Run (5 miles) – 21st July 2013
Running on an Olympic track isn’t an opportunity that presents itself every day, so when I was given the chance to do so, in the form of the National Lottery Anniversary 5 mile run, I jumped at the chance. I had a fantastic time during the Olympics and Paralympics last year, so I was extremely excited for my first trip back to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
We arrived at the park nice and early, me giddy with excitement, my boyfriend a bit peeved that he’d had to get up so early. We chilled out in the stadium, listening to the warm up and reminiscing about the games, before I made my way over for the start at 10am.
I had planned to run this race ‘for fun’, so I didn’t wear my watch and I wasn’t going for a time. I just wanted to run it comfortably and have a great time. Just before the start there was a mass warm up, which I joined in with feeling a bit stupid, then some words from Paula Radcliffe, Chris Hoy and others – inspiring stuff.
We headed away from the stadium and around the Velodrome for the first mile, before heading for the Copper Box and back towards the stadium. Apart from the obvious sights of the stadium and the Orbit, the route around the park was pretty uninspiring due to the fact that it’s still largely a building site. There was no real support on the route, as no one was allowed to be there, just a few bemused looking builders.
It was a warm but cloudy day, very humid, so a shower at mile 3 was most welcome! There were a few sets of drummers on the course (I love running to drums!), but on the whole the route was pretty quiet.
In the last mile of the race we headed around the stadium, before entering the tunnels, where the organisers had set up some speakers playing Chariots of Fire alongside race commentary and the sounds of crowds cheering. In the echoey tunnel it really gave you goosebumps and I had a huge grin on my face.
After getting thoroughly hyped up in the tunnels we finally turned into the stadium for our last 300m on the track. The stadium was full of spectators making a lot of noise, cheering for their runners. I spotted my boyfriend in the stands and gave him a big wave, before turning onto the final straight and sprinting for the finish, waving my hands over my head and doing the Mobot like a nutcase.
After collecting my goodybag and medal I met up with my boyfriend and headed off for pancakes, before returning home for a nap. The perfect Sunday! My chip time in the end was 43:12, and although I didn’t really care about the pace I was quite pleased that I managed this time while feeling very comfortable throughout.
All in all, a brilliant and very different race, which reminded me of why I love running so much. Unfortunately, my current marathon training enthusiasm is at an all time low, but that’s another post for another time.