One of Britain’s fastest sprint stars, CJ Ujah, joined rising Team GB star Adelle Tracey, Mayor of Newham Sir Robin Wales, Brendan Foster and the Sharpe family from Plaistow in Newham, to help lay the first sections of the new track in the former Olympic Stadium ahead of the Great Newham London Run.
Nine year-old Tate Sharpe and his mother Simone, who live just a few miles from the Stadium, will be among the first people to use the state-of-the-art track when they take part in the Great Newham London 2km Family Run this summer.
The popular Family Run, which is for children aged five to eighteen and accompanying adults, and the Great Newham London Run 10k are being held on Sunday 17 July. They will give thousands of runners the only opportunity to run around Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and into the former Olympic Stadium. This will give all of the runners the chance to have their own golden moment as they cross the finish line in the same Stadium as their heroes from the London 2012 Games.
The Mondo track is exactly the same kind of track being used at the Rio 2016 Games. The updated track design uses an improved formulation of vulcanised rubber to deliver a quicker reaction time and make it the fastest Mondo track to date.
CJ Ujah from Enfield was still competing in junior ranks at the time of the London 2012 Games. He has since gone on to become one of only six British men to have run under 10 seconds for the 100m, equaling his 9.96 second personal best on the Stadium track last year.
He said: “It’s amazing to be here in the Stadium and to be a part of laying the new track. The London 2012 track helped create some incredible memories and certainly inspired me to keep working hard to break through into the senior ranks.
“It’s perfect that people of all ages and abilities are going to be the first to run on this brand new track and have their own moment crossing the finish line. I can’t wait to come back and race on it myself.”
Helping to lay the track was Rio 2016 hopeful and St Mary’s University student Adelle Tracey. She was one of the seven promising teenage athletes chosen to light the Olympic flame at the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Since London 2012 Adelle Tracey has broken through to an international level and is now a serious contender for a Team GB 800m place at the Rio 2016 Games.
Adelle Tracey said: “Lighting the Olympic Flame during the London 2012 Opening Ceremony was an incredible honour and it is great to be back in the Stadium. I hope to have more golden moments on this track and I hope as many as possible take up the opportunity to run in this inspirational Stadium at the Great Newham London Run.”
The Sharpe family are regular visitors to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, where they meet friends, swim in the London Aquatics Centre and watch basketball in the Copper Box, where Tate has also sung with the choir from his school Tollgate Primary.
Simone Sharpe said: “We were already looking forward to running in the Stadium in July but to help lay the track we are going to run on was amazing. Newham is really making the most of hosting the London 2012 Games, which is transforming the area. The Great Newham London Run is another brilliant moment to celebrate and be proud of our area, we can’t wait to run into the Stadium together on Sunday 17 July.”
Brendan Foster, Chairman of the Great Run Company which organises the Great Newham London Run, said: “I still get a buzz every time I come into the Stadium remembering the incredible atmosphere during London 2012 and the achievements of athletes like Mo Farah, Jess Ennis-Hill, Usain Bolt and David Rudisha. It’s really exciting to help lay the new track and look ahead to July when thousands of people will be cheered across the finish line by their friends and family in a Stadium packed out for the Great Newham London Run.”
Sir Robin Wales, Mayor of Newham, said: “We all witnessed some inspirational displays in the Stadium during the 2012 Games. The Great Newham London Run gives our residents and others the unique chance of following their footsteps in this iconic venue as well as creating new memories.
“The event’s popularity continues to grow each year. The countdown to the Rio Games and the chance to be among the first to run on this brand new track helps add even greater excitement to this year’s event. I would urge more people to follow the lead of the Sharpe family and sign up for the 10km or the Family Run.”