A few weeks ago I had the fortune to find out about a special evening organised by Niketown Stratford to celebrate its opening and launch of its weekly run. A small group of us had the privilege of a Q&A session with world record holder Paula Radcliffe. I found out about the event whilst at Noel’s seeing baby Soshin, so I mentioned it and Noel was keen to be signed up too.
Free tshirts were distributed on entry with the words ‘History Stands’ on them and Paula’s world record time on the back. I say world record but in the eyes of the IAFF it is no longer recognised as that, the title has been stripped years after the event citing ‘mixed race/male pacers’ as its reasoning. This is utter b@llocks. I have yet to find anyone who thinks otherwise but perhaps I move in the wrong circles…!
Anyway the Q&A was interesting, offering a personal insight into such an incredible athlete. It was a very nice touch especially given it was free. Paula came across incredibly well, answering audience questions even those by the national press who lowered the tone of the evening by asking ‘quote making’ questions. The only sad bit was her entourage being so miserable, a photo would have been nice but I did get lucky and get my Berlin Marathon number signed. I thought this appropriate, she raced the event too and qualified for London 2012 with her result out there…
After the q&a we went for a run, it was the inaugural Niketown Stratford Run club. Having racked up many miles a few years back the Oxford St equivalent its nice to see it coming closer to home. A 5km jog took us upto the olympic park and back. The routes needs a bit of tweaking to bring big numbers however as Stratford is still a large building site that will come in time I’m sure! It was a good first bash and is very promising.
I tend to be more of an Adidas man than Nike but in this instance kudos to the later.