Meeting one of your heroes (Read 368 times)

    I feel pretty privileged today.. My "day job" involves coffee - in that I run a small gourmet roasting business and my family and I take mobile speciality coffee bars to outdoor events, mostly at the weekends. Today we attended the one running event in our event calendar, the Windsor Half Marathon, run entirely in the Royal Park about 20 miles west of London. I managed to get in a 55 minute run about four hours before the race and after an early morning deluge cruised down the "long walk" towards the castle and through the finish line in bright autumn sunshine, grazing roe deer on either side of the road in the park. Awesome. The half marathon race start this year was performed by one Sebastion Newbold Coe, latterly Lord Coe of the London 2012 successful olympic bid. However I remember Seb Coe principally as an inspirational figure in turning me into a serious runner in the mid 1980's. His retention of the olympic 1500m title at the LA games of 1984 was one of those unforgettable moments in sport, and I've gone into a little bit too much length about him on my blog this week at http://coffeeman-running.blogspot.com. He was the first man ever to perform the feat and a replay of Seb gutsing it out to the line through the last 200 meters against the then world champion and fellow brit, Steve Cram, still brings a lump to my throat. After he had performed his duties and the 4000 runners had set off on their 13 miles, Seb came up to our stand with his two children during the race and I got him to autograph one of the big laminate menus inside the coffee trailer. Otherwise I was reduced to a babbling 15 year old boy as I tried to explain to him what watching him had done to me. He still looked unbelievably fit - we are the same age!- and said he still tries to run every day. I bet he still keeps a training diary. This says something for the wonderful sport of running. This man set world records in 1981, achieved the apogee of achievement in 1984 - did not set his PR in the event until two years later and was still internationally competitive in 1989. But still he finds the inspiration to run daily and chat to dumb star struck middle-of-the-packers like me. He also dropped some change into our collection for Ugandan HIV / Aids orphans. He's not THAT perfect however as he eschewed our fresh roasted coffee for a plain old cup of tea! I wondered if anyone else had had such an experience. It always helps to have an inspirational figure to follow when the miles get hard and we have had a few of them here in the UK in my memory. I just thought I'd share this moment today with you guys. Keep on running Seb!