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Scarborough Man One of the First to Run in Olympic Stadium

Scarborough Man One of the First to Run in Olympic Stadium

Published by the Yorkshire Coast Radio News Team at 1:49pm 15th March 2012.

The world’s finest athletes might be making their final preparations for this summer’s Olympic Games, but a Scarborough man is set to pip them all to the finishing post having won a place in a special charity run through the Olympic Village.

The National Lottery Olympic Park Run takes place on 31 March and will see just 5,000 people run a five-mile course that passes iconic venues including the velodrome and aquatics centre before terminating in the Olympic stadium itself. And 51-year-old Jim Rowley, from Newby, will be joining other lucky runners – including a host of former and current Olympic and Paralympic athletes – on the starting line.

The runners are allowed to use the event to raise money for charities of their choice, with Jim choosing to support Headway – the brain injury association. In 2004, Jim’s son, Nick, died following a brain haemorrhage. He was just 22. Since then, Jim has raised money for Headway, the charity that supports people affected by brain injury, by taking part in events such as the Great North Run.

“I’m incredibly excited,” said Jim. “I applied last September after seeing the run advertised on the National Lottery website, but I never thought I’d get a place. Running alongside Olympic heroes past and present will be surreal; it’ll be like I’m running in a dream and definitely something to tell the grandchildren one day!

“When Nick died, I wanted to do something positive to help others. Headway is a wonderful charity that does amazing work in supporting individuals and families like ours affected by brain injury. And yet too little is known about the vital work they do.

“I did the Great North Run last year, raising more than £1,500 for the charity, and I’ll be doing it again this year. But before that, I have to get fit for this very special run and try to secure sponsorship from the generous people and businesses in Scarborough.”

So could a Scarborough man be the very first person to cross the finishing line in the new Olympic stadium? “Ha, ha,” said Jim. “I’d love to be that person, but at my age I’m just going try to enjoy the day.”

Jim’s wife, Jackie, and daughter Danielle will be among the 10,000 supporters when he enters the stadium. To sponsor Jim, visit


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