THE chance to run on the new Olympic track was opened to thousands at the weekend.
Two events took place – the National Lottery five mile run on Saturday and the The Gold Challenge, on Sunday.
Keen aviator Howard Cook, who broke his black in a serious flying, accident has battled back to fitness and on Saturday joined others in the stadium five mile run.
Howard, from Horringer, ran through the Olympic Park in the National Lottery run passing iconic venues in the Olympic Park, including the Velodrome and Aquatics Centre, before reaching the finish line.
The St Edmundsbury Borough Council community project manager suffered serious injuries when a Canadian Tiger Moth crashed during an air display.
He was in a wheelchair for three months and had to have titanium bolts implanted into his spine and legs.
He said: “I broke my back, shattered my right leg and left hand and had 64 stitches in my face.
I remember sitting in the wreckage thinking I can’t feel my legs but I can still work a keyboard and wondering what else I could do.”
The run was a marker for Howard who has been fitness training for some years at Clarice House and worked intensively at getting himself back into shape.
“That training really helped me survive and recover,” he said.
Howard was back flying vintage aircraft again just five months after the crash but said the process of recovery had been a ‘long hard road’.
He said: “It was a wonderful experience to get an Olympic athlete’s view running in the stadium.
“It was great being able to do five miles when I couldn’t at one stage do five steps.”
Mother of two Tabitha Creasey, 35, ran the 100m track on Sunday in The Gold Challenge. This arose from Tabitha’s allegiance to Breakthrough Breast Cancer as she became a supporter after she lost her mother to breast cancer 20 years ago.
Tabitha said: “It was an incredible opportunity, an amazing experience and really good to see the stadium.”
Tabitha ran competetively and was placed second in her section of the event in which schoolchildren, teenagers, older people and those with disabilities had the chance to enjoy the Olympic Stadium and take part in the sporting events on the day.
Tabitha has also been taking part in the charity’s Gold Challenge in which she is completing 10 Olympic sports, including mountain biking, tennis, rowing and fencing.
Tabitha said that her favourites among the 10 sports were tennis and archery.
Sarah Graham, who works in Bury St Edmunds, also took part in the five mile event and despite suffering a few injuries which impeded her practice she successfully completed the run.