Look what I did – I met Mo Farah!
Holiday Inn have been announced as the official hotel of the Olympics and as one of their marketing schemes they invited Mo Farah to lead an early morning 5km run around Regents Park. Now I am not an early morning runner. I normally roll out bed 30 minutes before I need to leave the house, wake up halfway through my cup of tea, and vaguely absorb BBC news before climbing on my bicycle to roll into work. Occassionally I succed in getting to the lido before work, but I don’t think I actually wake up properly until I’m in the water! However running does not fit into my mornings.
On this occasions though I managed to drag myself out of bed at 05:45 to get to the Holiday Inn on Carburton Street by 7am. A few runners were already there when I arrived and were wearing the free t-shirts or ‘2012’ bibs that staff were handing out. By the time 07:30 rolled around there were at least 200 of us milling around the front of the hotel, shaking hands with Mo, having our photos taken, and getting our bibs and t-shirts autographed.
I got a bit star struck as I approached him and mostly just congratulated him on his recent gold and silver medals at the World Athletics Championships for the 5,000m and 10,000m respectively. He was very friendly and polite though, and chatted with everyone there before leading us to Regents Park, doing some warm up stretches and then jogging a jolly 5km with us all.
No, I didn’t beat him. Not even close. We set off pretty slowly as there were press taking photographs, but after about 500m the front of the field seemed to just speed off! The photos of the finish show that there was finishing tape and Mr. Farah bursting through it, so I can only assume that the jolly jog turned into a proper race (a race by my standards anyway. A recovery run for Mo, I’m sure). Therefore I think that all of those who dragged themselves out of bed yesterday morning are able to claim that they have raced Mo Farah, world champion. What a cracking morning!