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Runners christen Olympic Stadium


London s Olympic Stadium opened its doors for the first time on Saturday (March 31) with 5,000 runners having the privilege to cross the finish line inside the arena after competing in a five-mile (8-km) run around the Olympic Park.Over 40,000 had entered a ballot at the end of last year to be involved with the participants selected at random. The Queen s grand-daughter, Princess Beatrice, was on hand to officially start the run, which began at London s newest landmark, the spiralling red Orbit outside the stadium. The run was the first public event inside the Olympic Stadium – a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for those involved to be the first to race on the track that will play host to this year s London Olympic and Paralympics Games. The runners were cheered on by 12,000 spectator guests inside the stadium, who were also treated to an array of music and dance entertainment. Tommy Davies from Loughborough, England was the first person to cross the finish line, in a time of 25 minutes, 14 seconds. “I feel really good to do it actually. I came here thinking I ll just get up to the front, maybe ten top as I wasn t sure who was here but I got a breakaway about half through and I just relaxed and felt really good and finishing in the stadium was fantastic,” said Davies. Model and television presenter Nell McAndrew was the first woman to finish. “It s just fantastic. You re running along and then you re coming through the corridors at the bottom and it feels like forever. And then you burst out into the stadium, and it just takes your breath away,” she said.