To be honest, I thought that marathons would be the highlight of my running career. After all, there aren’t that many bigger challenges. But then someone told me about the National Lottery Olympic Park Run – with only a few days left before the ballot to select the lucky runners. So I applied.
Guess what? I got picked. Yes, I’m going to be one of 5,000 competitors cruising past the Olympic Park’s Aquatic Centre and Velodrome, before finally setting foot on the actual running track in the Olympic Stadium. Wow!
Going for Gold!
According to the blurb any one of us could be the first person to ever cross that hallowed Olympic finish line in an official race … cue three minutes of wonderful daydreams as the world’s press fights for my photograph, adoring crowds around the globe celebrate my God-like athleticism and I find myself headline news from Aldershot to Zhezkazgan.
Then reality hits. On a good day, on a flat course, with the wind behind me and a Red Sea-style parting of any slower runners in front, I reckon I can get close to a credible 35 minutes over the five mile course. However, I have a feeling that there will be more competitiveness in this race than there is in the pursuit of identifying putative biomarkers for disease identification or discovering the genetic drivers for just about any of the world’s illness you care to name.
But, at the risk of sounding like Wall Street’s Gordon Gekko, I think a little competition is something that brings out the best in all of us.
After all, I’m an IDBS man and a runner… so I’m well used to that!
So wish me luck for 2pm on the last Saturday in March. I’ll keep you posted.