Sunday, 5 August 2012

London 2012 - first post

How I got here.
I started running about 10 years ago, because walking round the field at the running track was better than sitting inside with cups of tea while RunnerBeanz was training. I never really lost the weight that I had hoped to lose, but I did discover the buzz. Ran a couple of marathons and several more half marathons. Eventually a knee injury and my weight combined to make it foolish to continue.
Some time later I began to marshal at races, and there is a buzz to that too. Little did I know then that that volunteering to stand out in the sun, wind and rain encouraging others to keep going would lead me to the Olympic Stadium. One of the clubs I belonged to needed accredited officials to continue to operate its annual 10K, so I was volunteered. I have never made it very far up the rankings, it is remarkably difficult to get the experience needed to progress – a bit of a closed shop, which living into two different regions at the same time has not helped.
When London won the bid, I did resolve to go and see at least one event. When they asked for volunteers and UKA provided a short cut for accredited officials I signed up to marshal the marathon – as an endurance official that was the obvious route. Nine months later I was interviewed and assured there would be a place for qualified officials and that we would be asked to marshal at all the road events – bike and athletics. Last summer I marshalled at the Road Bike test event – but failed to post the blog I wrote, too late now....
Back in January I heard that I had been selected to be a GamesMaker in Field of Play in the Stadium!! Even better my good friend Jane had said that I could stay in her home during the games – 20 minutes on the bus from the stadium. That offer has made all the difference, as I was able to stay with Jane on visits for training.
After an orientation training at Wembley, in April we got our first trip to the Olympic Park and seeing its amazing buildings.

Swimming wing
 And into the stadium for the first time, including going out on to the track. Everyone stood around oohing and aahing.

First sight
In May I we went back to work on the BUCS championships – the test event for the arena. Scoreboards in action now.
By now I knew I would be driving a buggy at the games.
This week we came back for the dress rehearsal – now in GamesMaker uniform and driving the buggy!

buggy driving
Tonight I have my first real event in front of the crowds in the stadium and millions more watching on TV. If you spot me it is probably because I have taken a wrong turning!

1 comment:

red in oz said...

OH Mary I'm sooooo jealous. We did Melbourne Commonwealth Games just after we got to Australia in 2006, it was fabulous, I was in the Athelete's village then, and the year after I was a team leader in field of play for the Open Water for the World Swimming Champs, it's so much fun being involved in these events, and none greater than the Olympics. I was hoping to be there for London 2012 but our third (and last) little beauty arrived right at the end of March this year so it was a no-go. We will be back in the UK in February next year for Beth to start school, I hope we can catch up for a walk some time when we're back. I'm still plodding along slowly, just getting back into it now with an October half marathon planned and a 5 miler to run tomorrow!!! Have a fabulous time, and write more so I can live vicariously through you!