The Scribbler

7 August 2012

More magic moments

I said it was going to be a great summer, but I little thought just how many magic moments it would deliver. I’ve already enjoyed so many wonderful days, spending time with friends, enjoying being outdoors and active.

And now the Olympics has me watching far more television than I would normally do and enjoying some inspirational moments watching the best of the best.

I work with a chap called Peter Wilson, so there was some banter about his namesake competing in the shooting. But, as a former player himself, our Peter was also keeping one ear across the judo coverage. So I was tipped off that a certain match involving Team GB’s Gemma Gibbons would be worth watching and I took a tea break and cheered her on.

I’m no judo expert, but there’s usually an Olympic sport that catches my attention and Gemma’s controlled performance, followed by her obvious emotion as she realised she was guaranteed a medal, was definitely a defining Olympic moment for me.

I was also able to watch Jessica Ennis start her heptathlon in fine style with the hurdles. A friend of mine got lucky with tickets in the ballot, so I got to see  photos from inside the packed Olympic Stadium as I cheered on our golden girl live, beginning to hope that her time had come.

I love Jess Ennis. Who doesn’t? She really matches my ideas of an athlete. As a multi-sport competitor she has to combine fast and strong, technique and power. And she has awesome abs.

Inspired by her performance and feeling a little fractious, I set off for an evening run. I wanted to do 12k, but knew that time was tight, and would have settled for a good 10.

For once I took some music and I picked an old playlist that I used to listen to when I first started running. It had the desired effect as I hit a good pace and kept it going for a good 6k, drifted a little as I turned back, and just ran out the last kilometre at an easy pace. 12k done and still in time to cheer on Rebecca Adlington to bronze in the 800m freestyle.

I then enjoyed a fabulous sunny Saturday afternoon up at our friends’ farm, where we competed in the farm Olympics – welly wanging, turnip toss, hay bale water hurdles, pin the tail on the piggy and sack race.

We laughed and cheered and scared the turkeys with an out-of-bounds welly toss. The sun shone and the barbecue was sizzling with steak and lamb, with fresh plucked salad from the garden and tomatoes straight out of the poly tunnel.

And as the sun began to set, I drove home to watch the greatest night of athletics I’ve ever seen. All the way up to the farm and back I’d been listening to the radio, catching up on the day’s Olympic events and it was building to be a good evening.

I wanted to see Jess in her final event, not just catch up with the highlights and I was looking forward to seeing Mo Farah in the 10k too. I cheered her on, sitting right up by the big screen, relaxed in that I knew she had performed well in her other events, but still willing her on to shine. She dropped back and I knew she didn’t have to win it, but then when she picked up the pace on the last bend and powered down the final straight I was yelling like a lunatic, part of the amazing noise of the crowd.

There was barely time to take it in, to revel in the moment and enjoy the fact that the other competitors joined Jess Ennis on her victory lap, before there was another gold on the board from Greg Rutherford.

And suddenly the expectation seemed too much, the story too much of a Hollywood script. Could Mo possibly top that?

I was worried, nervous as the race progressed and he seemed so far back. The pace chopped and changed and I willed him to hold on, but still I wasn’t sure. He made a move, and then another and my heart began to leap. And when he finally pulled away into the last lap I began to shout. Full throttle, yelling his name, willing him on through the last 400m. I was glad I was on my own as anyone else would have thought I had lost it. I didn’t think anything would top Jess Ennis’ gold for me. But Mo did it!

I’m loving these Olympics. Of course it helps that there’s the home advantage and so many Team GB athletes taking part. And that means there are events on when we can watch them – although there’s plenty of action I’m missing during the day.

I like the silly things, like the daft Olympic mascot going nuts in the background of the 10k, and the wee boy who gave Andy Murray a hug after his medal winning match. I like the background videos and the explanation of the rules and the commentators getting a little teary eyed or bouncing out of their seats. And I’m loving the attitude of our sportsmen and women which is largely gracious, articulate and humble.

Right now, there seems to be a spirit of cheer and optimism – a spirit we runners understand very well. I just hope that the legacy of that as well as the sporting legacy continues.

As far as my own training goes, it’s a bit mixed up at the moment as I wait to see if I have a place in a Standard Distance triathlon in a couple of weeks’ time. So I’m adding in quite a bit of cycling and swimming.

But longer term my goal remains the Great North Run in September, so I’ve been building up the mileage for that too. And today I just launched my fundraising page. Once again I’m running for Sands in memory of my baby sister Ava. You can find out more about my reasons for running on my page and your support will be very welcome.

Advertisements

Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: