As I’ve written previously, I only ended up entering the Lincoln 10K as the route goes through one of the grids from The Lincoln A to Z map, which is due to the overly convoluted radio program I present. Each episode is constructed from what we find in a randomly selected grid square. The route of the Lincoln 10K goes through this grid three times, so I’ll be running through the grid describing the scenes and my feelings and Jonny, the programs producer, has elected that he will describe events from the spectators point of view.
So far we have completed 30 of the 52 grids, which the esteemed Trefor Davies also contributes his glorious verbal dexterity to. The program has given me a different way of viewing the city. As I ride on the cycle path, past the ‘only just out of town’ retail park, I remember the miserable, drizzly morning we spent trying not to moan too much about our consumer driven concrete surroundings.
Lincoln being the place I have spent most of my life has personal memories scattered all over its landscape. One grid stands out though, the grid where, with my family, we watched the Olympic flame being passed from one of the torch bearers to another. I’ll never forget the look on that mans face as he received the flame, its was a ‘lottery win plus your team beating your nearest rivals 5 – 0 multiplied by the birth of your children’ kind of look, one that illustrated joy, excitement and emotion. I’m please I wasn’t one of the many experiencing this moment by looking through a smartphone, its burnt onto my memory banks and from that moment on, the Olympics transformed from being the usual British pavement looking attitude to seeing just how high we could soar.
When we revisited that grid for the program, Jonny and I asked the question “Has the legacy of that incredible few weeks lived on?”
If the Olympics was like a euphoric time when you and your friends went on a bender and beat the night, the word ‘legacy’ had just about sounded out of the closing ceremony when the inevitable hangover over of the sports funding cuts hit. The highfalutin sports – sailing and equestrian faded back out of the grasps of the underclass and you could almost hear the water being drained out of swimming pools when British swimmers didn’t reap success at the following world championships. Just lately, The Royal Mail had a PR disaster when they didn’t reward our successful Winter Olympians and Paralympians with a gold post box. The legacy it seems isn’t worth the price of a pot of gold paint.
The good news is that 2 days before the Lincoln 10K we get to see the inspirational Winter Paralympic athlete Jade Etherington take part in an open top bus parade. The tour will also take in schools the day before the pupils take part in road races too. Huge congratulations to Jade and lets hope we can relive a little of that magic time and inspire the Lincoln 10k runners.
Paul Tyler presents Lincoln A to Z on Siren FM