On the 4th May this year, I had the fantastic opportunity of running in the Olympic Stadium in London for Cardiff University. It was for the British Universities Outdoor Athletics Championships, which was used as the test event for the Olympic Games. As you can imagine, this year the event was oversubscribed with university athletes wanting to compete, so they limited the places to one athlete per university, per event. So I had to trial and submit an official time to be able to compete in my desired event, the 5000m on the track. Fortunately with my PB of 19.20, I was the best Cardiff female runner, so was entered in the women’s 5000m!
My event was scheduled for the Friday evening at 6pm but our Cardiff team had only arrived in London at 4pm, so I rushed down to the warm up track (which was half a mile away through a tunnel), warmed up for an inadequate amount of time, then was called through to the stadium, given a chipped number then taken out onto the track. I must admit one of the best parts, was to look up and see my name on the giant score board as I took my warm up kit off and put it into my very own box at the start line! I felt like I was in the actual Olympics.
The gun went and the next 19 minutes were a bit of a blur and screaming, lights flashing and legs aching! 12.5 laps is a long way on a track but running on the Olympic track made it far from boring! It went so quickly, I wanted to do it all again as soon as I finished. I was slightly disappointed with my finishing time of 19.44 as it was way off my PB, but I had to expect that considering I had travelled for 4 hours in a minibus that day and had never actually done 5000m on the track before… I’m not complaining with that time!
Then for the rest of the weekend I got to enjoy some fantastic athletics from world class university athletes, including some who got the Olympic A qualifying standard for their event. What a spectacular place to run in.