Olympic dream run for Andrew

Andrew Carr finishes the Olympic Park Race
Andrew Carr finishes the Olympic Park Race

A DAD had a once-in-a-lifetime experience when he was one of the first people to run in the Olympic Stadium.

Andrew Carr was one of more than 5,000 athletes who took part in the National Lottery Olympic Park Run last weekend.

The 39-year-old joined fellow runners to race for five miles around the brand-new Olympic Park ahead of the London 2012 Games.

The Shotton Colliery resident, who took up running three years ago to improve his fitness levels after having a knee operation, said: “The atmosphere was fantastic on the day, it was amazing.

“It was an honour to be one of the first people ever to cross the Olympic Stadium finish line, especially with my wife and son waving and cheering me on.

“Just to think Usain Bolt is going to be running there . This was a once-in-a-lifetime day out.

“It was great to see all the new buildings while running around the Olympic Village and an amazing feeling running into the stadium with the Chariots of Fire music playing.

“I’m really proud that we are getting to hold this brilliant event.”

Andrew, from Fleming Field in Shotton, completed the race in 39 minutes and 18 seconds.

He finished 238th in the 35-39 age group and his overall position was 1,437.

“I was over the moon with my time,” he added.

He was picked to take part after taking part in a ballot of 45,000 people.

Andrew’s wife, Emma, a 36-year-old audiologist at the University Hospital of Hartlepool, and son Tom, a 12-year-old Academy at Shotton Hall student, cheered him on and the family also got to meet some celebrities who attended the event.

These included singer and rapper Labyrinth, model Nell McAndrew, who won the ladies’ run, former British Olympic 400m hurdle champion Sally Gunnell, former Spice Girl Mel C, Prince Beatrice, former athlete Roger Black and TV presenter Jenny Falconer.

Andrew added: “Holly Willoughby, who started the race, blew me a kiss after I finished.”