The final flight home seems to be a perfect time to reflect on what has just been. As the Melbourne contingent of the London Olympic team take that final journey home, all I can think about is how good my own bed, own shower and hugs from family will be when I get there!
In my final blog for Running Australia the most important part of my London Olympic experience I’d like to share is how important teaming is even in an individual sport such as athletics!
Michael Shelley and I have been part of a team for many years now. We may live in different states and have a coach who is also remote, but with the help of Garmin GPS technology, email, a mobile phone and a coach Dr Richard Telford who understands everything about us we are a team!
Michael and I have supported each other to deliver personal bests, Commonwealth Games medals and now Olympic Top 20 performances. Doing it as a team makes it so much more rewarding and so much fun! I am just as proud of his performances as I am of my own as I know that every time I get out and complete a training session with my husband Lachlan, Michael is out there doing that very same thing!
Extending beyond our tight-knit Telford Team was the team work and support displayed across the entire Australian Flame. I can proudly say that I have been on quite a few teams now and from the minute I arrived at the Olympic Camp in Tonbridge, UK there was a great atmosphere amongst us all.
The distance group would meet for regular runs, Craig (Mottram), Dave (McNeil), Michael (Shelley), Marty (Dent), Jeff (Hunt), Jess (Trengove) and our supporters (aka Paps!). The facilities at Tonbridge were exceptional, the school staff and locals were extremely friendly and no request was too troublesome. Our team lead by Eric, Susan and Nathan ensured we had everything we needed for our final preparation and it created a dream run into the Olympic Games.
With Jess as my roomie in the village we formed a special bond that I will cherish as one of the highlights of my Olympic experience. We marked the occasion by purchasing matching Pandora bracelets and I am looking forward to adding a few more charms as we experience great things together, representing our wonderful country, Australia.
Jess, who was in the same position I was four years ago, qualifying for her first Olympics off her debut marathon ran exceptionally well in London and has a lot more to give. I am looking forward to seeing her demolish those personal best times as her journey continues.
Benita, our Australian record holder did us proud, rounding off the women’s marathon team with a gutsy performance. Having been injured prior to the Games her ability to push through pain exemplified what true Australian spirit is all about. Us marathon girls mixed our personal drinks together before the race, took the bus to the race together, found a spot on the start line together and looked after each other when the race was finally over. That is what true team work is all about.
The final highlight of the Games was our post competition Flame team gathering…all I can say is that there were a lot of group hugs in celebration of our efforts. If every Flame team is like our London Olympic contingent, then I never want to stop being a Flame!
Remember, no matter how alone you sometimes feel in an individual sport such as distance running, there is always someone out there doing the same thing you are. Next marathon you do, think about how the person next to you is feeling on the start line, you never know, they might want to work as a team!
A very special thank you to my sponsors; Victorian Institute of Sport, and Ascend Sport. Thank you for supporting me…there’s a lot more to come!
Editors note - Sensational effort by Lisa. A personal best at the Olympics is what dreams are made of. On behalf of all the iRunners out there, thank you for letting us share your journey as our ambassador over the past 16 months.