Sunday, 9 December 2012

Run with Paula Radcliffe

Thanks to the O2 sports priority app and being on the 02 network meant I got to meet one of my sporting heroes this weekend; marathon legend Paula Radcliffe.

Catching the 6:39am train to London on a cold winters morning is not something I am used to, especially after getting up at 5:30 the day before for my Friday run to work. But when meeting sporting legends its a small price to pay.

After reaching Waterloo and the short tube ride to Oxford Circus, I queued along side other like minded runners as we waited to go into Niketown and meet Paula.
Now I do like my Nike sports apparel, so to be in one of the biggest stores before opening time felt like being a kid in a sweet shop! As we waited for the introduction of Paula we were able to pick up a breakfast bag and mingle and look around the store. I got chatting to another runner who had made his way from Stoke for the event before I met up with fellow `Tweeter ` Simon. It was great to finally meet Simon after following on Twitter and we had a good chat exchanging stories of running.

As we all gathered around Paula was finally introduced to us as we stood and listened to her being interviewed by a Nike representative. Most interesting was listening to Paula describe her comeback from injury that sadly kept her from competing in this years Olympics. But it`s good news and sounds like Paula is not far from getting back to running again in the new year.

Q and A with Paula at Niketown

Sadly due to recovering from her injury, Paula could not run with us today but instead would come down to watch the core workout we had at Regents Park and then meet us back at Niketown for some photo opportunities.

We were all given a Nike white technical T-shirt before we head out along Regent street and to Regents park. We were split into 3 groups with a couple of pacers per group, it was strange to be swapping the quiet trails with running down one of London’s most famous roads, and as you would imagine there was a lot of start stopping to get across some of the roads leading to the Park.

When we reached the park we done some core workouts for about 15 minutes. After this it was a run back to Niketown. Before heading back Simon and myself spotted Paula along with a few others and got the chance to have my picture taken and a very brief chat with Paula. Simon being an ultra runner asked Paula about running ultras and running with Kilian Jornet, I added that Kilian was in fact not human to which Paula agreed!

Can I upgrade my current running partners for this one please?

Once back at Niketown, I quickly changed before joining Simon in the queue for another photo shot with Paula.

I felt a bit guilty as we were at the cut off point in the queue, as Paula had to leave and I was to get my second photo with Paula. The guilt lasted about a second as I grabbed another photo and returned the favour to Simon and got a photo of him and Paula as well.

2nd Photo with Paula back at Niketown

Paula was great in the Q and A session, informative,happy and laid back and so down to earth when chatting to her in the middle of Regents park.

A great day and well done to O2, Nike and of course Paula for making it memorable.

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