Video: Olympic Park run reactions as first people cross stadium finishing line

Celebrities, sports stars and members of the public have given their reaction to being among the first people to cross the finishing line at the Olympic Stadium.

Five thousand people competed in the National Lottery Olympic Park Run on Saturday.

The five-mile run was the first ever public event to take place in the stadium.

Almost 43,000 people entered a ballot last year to get a place in the event and the chosen runners came from all over the UK

Princess Beatrice started the race before taking part herself.


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The princess said: "I am thrilled to be able to play my part in such an historic occasion and it is fantastic to see the incredible transformation that the Olympic Park has undergone.

"I, like so many others running on the day, know that the experience of being one of the first to cross the Olympic finish line is an extraordinary moment in what promises to be a memorable year for the nation."

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The first person to officially cross the finish line was Stuart Bloor, 24, of Crewe, Cheshire.

Mr Bloor was born with spina bifida, leaving him wheelchair-bound since birth. He had his leg removed in 2007.

Mr Bloor beat his rivals in the wheelchair race by several minutes, to clock in a time of 23 minutes and four seconds.

He said: "To be honest, anything under half an hour would have been great but to be so far ahead is unbelievable. It hasn’t sunk in yet."

The first runner to cross the Olympic finish line was Tommy Davies, 26, of Loughborough, who won the race with a time of 25 minutes 11 seconds.

He said: "To win a race is fantastic, but to win a race here at this stadium is something which will not happen again. This is a once in a lifetime thing."

Gail Emms, 34, silver medallist in badminton at Athens in 2004, was one of a number of ex-athletes invited to run.

She said: "It's fantastic to be running inside the Olympic Park and crossing the finish line inside the Olympic Stadium.

"The Olympic Park is looking superb now and it really brings it home to you how close the Games are."

Former model Nell McAndrew, 38, was the first female runner to complete the race in 29 minutes and 21 seconds.

She said: "I was just trying to use it as a training run. Never in a million years did I think I would be the first woman. I feel amazing, like I could do it again."

Former Spice Girl Melanie Chisholm, better known as Mel C, 38, ran the race in under 30 minutes.

She said: "It is just so exciting. That moment when I entered the stadium was just incredible. When I was young I had ambitions to be an Olympic gymnast so I love the Olympics."

After completing the run, London 2012 chief executive Paul Deighton said: "It was nice to come in here in running gear rather than a hard hat.

"It was absolutely tremendous. This is the most people we have had in the stadium. The team have done a tremendous job. I was behind people who were pressed up against the velodrome window so they could see inside, it was extraordinary."

Two-time Olympic rowing champion Steve Williams was also among the first batch of runners to complete the course.

He said: "I have only been in two Olympic stadiums and this is an amazing stadium. It is going to be a crazy Games."

After finishing the run Sally Gunnell, the 1992 400m hurdles Olympic champion, said: "That was quite something. I wanted to have a good old nose (when I was running). I ran with Gail Emms and I think we did under 40 minutes so I am pleased with that. We are not far off (from the start of the Games), soon the flags will be raised and it will be fantastic."

Former javelin thrower Steve Backley enjoyed the run, despite having had a hip replacement earlier this year.

He said: "I would like to be a little bit younger full stop because to compete in here in this atmosphere would be absolutely brilliant. I hope they (British 2012 athletes) can soak it all in and come back with a lot of medals."

Former 400m sprinter Roger Black said: "It was fun. The best bit was going past all the facilities but also having all these people bumping in to you was a bit like running in a relay race.

"This is a great stadium, 80,000 people and a great atmosphere. It has got everything you would want as an athlete. Anyone who has got a ticket to this stadium in the Games is a lucky person."

TV presenter Martin Lewis said: "I loved the last 300m and coming in to the stadium. The rest of it was a bit hard. I am now looking forward to a hug from my wife. I am a bit sweaty."

The eldest runner of the day was 81 year-old Rowland Joiner, of Grays, Essex. He said: "I love athletics and, like millions of others, I applied for Olympics tickets and I did not get any. So I thought this way I could still come here and see the Olympic stadium. It is great fun."

There were several celebrities alongside the thousands of spectators. Weather presenter Sian Lloyd, 53, was cheering on her husband, Jonathan Ashman, 63, who was running the race.

She said: "The atmosphere is amazing. I’m a swimmer not a runner so if I could swim in the Olympic swimming pool I would do it but today I'm just watching. I think the Olympics are going to be great. It is like with the weather, we get it wrong sometimes but it will come good in the end."

Actress Tamzin Outhwaite, 41, was intending to run the race but had to pull out after she announced, earlier this month, that she was expecting her second child with husband Tom Ellis.

She said: "I did want to to be one of the first to cross the Olympic line but my husband is running in my place. In a way I am quite pleased that I am not running because I would have tried to beat Mel C. There probably would have been a bit of a competition between us!"

Television presenter Holly Willoughby and 400m sprinter Iwan Thomas co-presented the run.

They entertained 12,000 invited spectators in the Olympic Stadium and introduced an array of acts performing on stage including dance troupe Flawless who appeared on the final of Britain’s Got Talent in 2009.

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