Friday, 7 September 2012

A Challenging Night at the Paralympics !!

WOW what a an evening !! probably one of the best evenings athletics I've ever seen.
Mainly all Finals, lots of World records broken. Golds for David Weir (800m T54 Wheelchair) and Jonnie Peacock (100m T44) & Hannah Cockroft (200m T34) to name but a few. These athletes are amazing and inspirational.

Getting to the stadium was interesting. Firstly a train from Kelvedon to Stratford which was the easy bit. At Stratford we had to walk following the signs for the Olympic Park. On exiting the station we were directed in to a separate lane for persons in wheelchairs or with walking disabilities, this certainly made things much easier. After about 200 meters we stopped in order to phone our son, Tom, who was due to arrive by underground about 5 mins after us. Due to good planning Tom and a work colleague, Justina, arrived just about on time and we all walked off together at my slow pace towards the Park. The crowds were incredible, thousands and thousands of people all homing in on the entrances.

I found the walk fairly daunting as there were people moving in all directions, crossing in front of me and darting around me, I had to be very precise about the path I chose. Jane, Tom, and Justina were very good in shielding me from the worst of it. I recon I walked about 3/4 mile to the security entrances by which time I was starting to get tired.

Security was interesting as it was exactly the same as the airport security, bags through the x-ray, and AMD for us. Of course with my leg I set the AMD off and had a body search of sorts from an Army guy. Not a bad search, but he wouldn't have got a job at Stanstead !!

The walk to the stadium was another few hundred meters before an enormous no of steps up to level 58 and our seats. By the time I had reached our seats I was pretty knackered and flopped down for a serious rest.

Three hours of sitting with my leg on was also tiring as it digs in in various places when I'm seated. We decided to leave after the last event, but before the final medal presentations in order to avoid getting mixed up with the crowds. The walk back to Stratford Station was difficult, my socket is now getting loose and the crowds were making things difficult by rushing and pushing around me. At about halfway we were offered a lift in a disability bus back to the station. This was gladly accepted and on arrival Tom and Justina saw us back to platform 10a just in time to catch the 10.44 back to Kelvedon.

All in all a brilliant evening, but also a difficult one from my perspective. I needed to push myself in a crowded arena to see how I coped. I was generally pleased with how I performed bearing in mind this was an extreme environment.

For anyone interested Tom has now posted all the 3 day reports on his 22hr, 131mile run in the "Ring O Fire" race around the Coastal path on Anglesey last weekend.
Click this link (

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