Carrera Nocturna

It’s not an ambition I’d ever had, because I’d never really thought about it. But having thought about it, running in a competitive race in the Olympic Stadium is pretty cool. And that’s what I did last night, running the 10kms Carrera Nocturna which began and ended in the stadium built for the 1968 Olympiad. I even won a medal! Ok, so everyone who finishes wins a medal…

The 1968 Olympics were a landmark event in the history of athletics. It was here in this stadium that the two American athletes who won gold and bronze in the 200 metres raised black gloved fists – the black power salute. It was here that Fosbury reinvented the high jump with the ‘Fosbury Flop’. Bob Beamon made good use of the altitude to jump 8.9 metres in the long jump, still and Olympic record. The altitude led to many new records in fact. Drug testing was introduced for the first time, which resulted in the disqualification of a pentathlete for being drunk! It was the first Olympiad to be held in a Spanish speaking country, and also in Latin America. The first woman to light the Olympic Cauldron. The first games to have the closing ceremony broadcast globally in colour.

Last night was an altogether quieter, less controversial and not quite so publicised event, but still, there were a good few thousand runners and quite a few people in the stands to cheer. My knee went again, as per usual. This time after just 4kms, and although it didn’t threaten to stop me finishing, I really think that I won’t compete in many 10km races in the future. I’ll have to limit myself to the 5 to 8km runs. Which is a shame, because I like these events and they are quite a good way of getting out and about and seeing parts of the city I wouldn’t normally visit.

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