Monday, 20 August 2012

A Day at Eton Dorney

20/08/2012 - OK the Olympics are over, except the Para-Olympics which I'm getting excited about, but I've been inspired to try my hand at triathlons. I've dug out the bike and have been adding bike rides to my training and I'm looking at doing a sprint triathlon in October. If that goes OK then I'll do a full Olympic one next year :-). Not been swimming yet - something I will have to do prior to booking the race as I've not swam "properly" in more years than I can remember. I don't want to dive into the pool and find I can only manage a single length.

Before then end of the Olympics our last tickets took us to Eton Dorney for the finals of the Canoe Sprint. Fortunately it was a lovely day and we set off in the car to the previously booked Park & Ride a few miles outside of the event. There was little in the way of traffic and the journey to the parking site was without issue - lovely. All parked up we walked over to the buses and were ferried over to the park, a long but pretty walk to the security gates and into the park - no real queues no hassle.

We had had no breakfast so decided to grab something before taking out seats - this proved to be a big mistake. The first race was to start at 09:30 and we felt that as it was 08:45 we had plenty of time so got in the queue for the stall advertising "Salmon - Brie - Beef"   baguettes. We queued and we queued and as after about 30 minutes we neared the counter where I heard "We only have Salmon or Prawn" - neither of which were going to be any good for myself or my daughter. My wife stayed and my daughter and I ran to the next door vendor to get something from them. My wife got to the counter of the baguette and asked why they were not telling people they were out of everything but fish only to be told "We're not allowed to." Anyway the prawn baguette she bought was rank and ended up, after a couple of bites, in the bin.

Day 15 - only one day to go :-(

Anyway by the time we'd got food we were rushing to the seats as the race was about to start and the first race had our best medal hope, Ed McKeever, starting. They were waiting on the start line as we pushed through to our seats - apologizing as we went. We literally reached our seats as the gun went off and they were off.

Made it to the seats!!

Hands full we cheered and roared and got to see Ed McKeever win Olympic gold!!!

First race finished we got to settle down and breath a sigh of relief that we had made it, just in time. We watched a couple more races until Ed got his medal ceremony. We cheered, we shouted, we waved the union flag - it was all very patriotic and the noise was tremendous. 

Ed sees me in the crowd and waves.
By now I had eaten my food and drank my drink so was starting to feel pretty good about things. Lovely weather, lovely venue and I'd just watched a gold medal being won - already a top day.

All Team GB'ed up.
So we got to watch a few more races, all of which were pretty exciting though only a couple had British interest and sadly none resulted in medals for Team GB.

That was until the duo of Jon Schofield and Liam Heath lined up in their two man canoe for the 200m sprint. There was an air of anticipation before the gun went off followed by the roar from the crowd - emulating what the crowds have been doing at every venue of this Olympic games. Watching from the seats it was too close to call it but after a few seconds the result was displayed on the big screen - they had won the bronze!

Brilliant bronze from Jon Schofield and Liam Heath
All races completed we watched the last of the medal ceremonies and cheered loud and proud as Jon Schofield and Liam Heath's received their bronze medals. All in all a brilliant day. And so once we were allowed out of the stand we took a slow walk back to the bus that would deposit us back to the car. Along the way the Games Makers high fived everyone, made jokes, basically did a fantastic job of making the day great. We could have stayed at the park as there was quite a bit going on but we needed to get going.

Lovely day
So we boarded the bus and after a short ride to the Park & Ride we jumped in the car and set off. Again no traffic to speak of and we arrived home fresh and happy. So our Olympics were over apart from the last day's TV and closing ceremony so a bit sad but hey there's still the Para-Olynpics to come. We managed to get tickets to the Equestrian so pretty damn excited about that :-).

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