Wakefield public get chance to pass Olympic Stadium finish line

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WAKEFIELD may have some Olympic hopefuls looking to compete in next year’s London games, but members of the public from the Merrie City can be amongst the first to cross the finish line at the newly-built Olympic Stadium next March.

The National Lottery Olympic Park Run will take place over five miles of the Olympic Park on March 31 2012 and 5,000 lucky applicants will get the chance to experience the run by entering the public ballot before midnight tomorrow (Thursday).

The event, which celebrates the contribution of The National Lottery and its players to London 2012, will be the very first public event staged at the Olympic Stadium and is open to anyone over 16 years of age, of any running ability.

The course will traverse the Olympic Park and offer access across it on a scale not yet experienced by the public. The route will pass alongside the other iconic Olympic and Paralympic Games venues that The National Lottery has helped fund and where many elite athletes’ hopes and dreams of London 2012 medal success will be realised just a few months later.

It will reach its conclusion on the home straight in the Olympic Stadium. Vying to cross the finish line first will also be a host of former and current Olympic and Paralympic athletes and celebrity runners.

Dianne Thompson, chief executive of Camelot, said: “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take part in one of the most thrilling events in the run-up to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The chance to take your place in history as one of the first people to cross the finish line in the Olympic Stadium is what dreams are made of. The National Lottery is proud to make that dream a reality for those who are lucky enough to win a place in the run.”

Sebastian Coe commented: “The National Lottery and its players have made a significant contribution in helping us realise our vision for the most spectacular Olympic Park, which will leave a lasting legacy for generations to come. I’m delighted that The National Lottery will give members of the public the chance to be the first to cross the finish line in the Olympic Stadium.”

The National Lottery is contributing up to £2.2 billion towards the funding of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, including the venues and infrastructure where Britain’s athletes hope to fulfil their dreams.

The cost of entering the run is £15 and the fee covers a race number, two spectator passes for the Olympic Stadium, an information pack, an event t-shirt, a computer chip for accurate timing, a souvenir medal for finishing, on-course refreshments and a finisher’s pack.

The online ballot can be entered by visiting www.national-lottery.co.uk/run before midnight on Thursday.

See this week’s Wakefield Express Sport for all the latest sports news from around the district.