Final push to capture the Olympic experience

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WE did the Mo-bot, we cheered runners of all nationalities as though they were our best friends and we soaked up the festive Olympics atmosphere on the last day of London 2012.

It has been said over and over again in the national press, but a group of up to 40 people from south Lincolnshire – members of Spalding’s Everbody’s Gym and their families and friends – felt the friendly buzz surrounding the big sporting event on a day trip to the capital.

We went to see the men’s marathon and positioned ourselves outside Buckingham Palace, the top of the Victoria Memorial glinting beautifully in the early morning sunshine.

The trip was organised by gym fitness manager Jamie Forman, who arranged an early start to make sure our coach driver got us into London in plenty of time for the marathon’s start, and, in fact, we did the journey in two hours.

Some of us were enjoying breakfast in a cafe down the road from the palace by 8.10am, despite the fact that we had brought with us a picnic big enough to last a weekend.

Jamie was really pleased at how the day went, and said: “It was exciting to be there and I’m really pleased that after the race finished, people went off into groups and did their own sightseeing as well.”

My husband, Mike, and I stood opposite the palace, the trees of St James’s Park providing welcome shade and, after we had seen three of the four laps, a perfect retreat for our picnic.

Spectators were there early, the experienced bringing picnic rugs and books to help pass the time before the athletes arrived – heralded by a helicopter in the sky, we assumed taking images, and a vehicle with a bank of raked seats for the many photographers and their huge lenses.

We stood shoulder to shoulder with people of all nationalities and cheered runners of all nations, in particular the one or two bringing up the rear.

In between, spontaneous Mexican waves would break out and the general good humour persisted, helped enormously by the many very helpful and sometimes entertaining Games Makers, the volunteers who helped to make sure the Games happened.

The steward nearest to our point on the route raised a cheer from the crowds when, having momentarily disappeared from view, he suddenly appeared at a jog, feigning tiredness.

On the way back to Spalding, everyone agreed it had been a superb day out and each one had their own special memories of the final day of the London 2012 Olympics.