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Inspired by the Olympic Games

August 17, 2012

As a “taster” for our upcoming Paralympic adventure, we took an “extra” weekend in London to be at the Olympics. I also wanted to have lunch with an old school friend on the Saturday triathlon day.

How would I fit my running in AND get to see some of the events? We planned to go and watch the ladies triathlon that started and finished in Hyde Park.

PAPER maps in the flat suggested that the distance from us to there was c. 8 miles (of course the maps are in miles!). Doable.

Plan was – I run in and meet Joost at Green Park Station.

I texted my friend to say that I was running to the Triathlon and that I would cal her when it had finished to arrange where we would meet.

Advice from a DLR train driver was be there early!

Another early morning and rain was forecast. Actually the air was not too bad. It was very still and weird to think that there were already athletes up and on their way to Olympic events.

The start of my run was also strange. When I run in London I run to the South Bank and come back on the North. Running into Town on the north bank felt a bit like combing your hair backwards!

It was amazing was additional stuff I saw that I had never noticed before. I even missed a couple of turns and instead of running along the Thames I was running alongside a busy road. That was FUN – I saw the Olympic cars and buses in the Olympic lane!

Runners passed me going the other way. I wanted to call out – “you are going the wrong way!”.

A small detour around St. Catherine’s Dock – luckily there was another runner for me to follow – and there it was… the Tower Bridge in all its glory with the Olympic rings! Wow! I was off again and ran through the Tower of london and along the banks of the River Thames. Still people running the other way…

Tower of London with Olympic Rings

Amazing to see the Tower Bridge with its Olympic Rings

The trick was to figure out which road to shoot down to get me to Green Park. There had been several options on the map. Some of these were now shut down as there was fencing along the road.  I wanted to run along The Mall as I was curious to see how the Volleyball was set up.

I missed The Mall.

I did hear the Volleyball.

I head a soldier directing someone to the Triathlon and followed the instructions. The Palace looked great and was clearly where the cyclists would be taking a sharp turn to race back to Hyde Park.

A quick check with a policeman and I was running up the hill in Green Park to the station. There was Joost chatting to a volunteer who was helping handicapped spectators in and out of transport.

It was 13,5 km! Job done. 

The triathlon was great and we could see great scenes of the cycling. In the middle of it all we received a tweet from a friend (actually my running trainer!), who was on holiday in America, saying that he had seen on TV that we had found each other!!!

It was extremely exciting. Two Team GB girls, Helen Jenkins and Vicky Holland, were in the front pack!

Cycling phase Women's traithlon

Women’s Cycling Phase Olympic Triathlon

We rushed  – with the rest of the crowd – towards the Serpentine. The athletes would run 10 km round the lake. We were about 6 deep in people so I saw a few heads bobbing up & down. Even when they finished we did not know who won. After all they had done it was an amazing  ! Nicola Sprig of Switzerland pipped Lisa Norden to the post. Helen Jenkins came 5th.

Off we toddled to lunch. My friend had had a conversation with her husband when she received my message. They actually wondered whether I was competing! That she even THOUGHT that made my day!!!

Joost after meeting  Hat Man

Joost after a meeting with the Hat Man!

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