I’ve received so many lovely messages of support and encouragement for my Commonwealth Games journey, so I wanted to share my experience for any friends and family keen to hear the finer details! I was straight back into work when I returned from Glasgow, so I’ve been trying to find time to write for over a month! And now, in a hotel in Marrakech preparing for my last competition of the season, I have that time!
I spent the first few weeks based in Koln (Germany), where we had access to fantastic facilities and support staff whilst we travelled in and out for competition. I raced in Nivelles (Belgium), Oordegem (Belgium) and Linz (Austria), before heading to the Australian Athletics team camp in Gateshead (UK). Whilst you don’t get a lot of time for sightseeing when competing, it’s a great opportunity to experience cities you probably wouldn’t have planned to go otherwise. We had some time to explore Linz in Austria, and I absolutely adored the city..
We stayed at the Hilton for the team camp in Gatehead, really nice hotel, good food and access to a good track and training facilities. The most exciting part was receiving our uniform, as it all suddenly became very real! Some great laughs at some of the less popular uniform items, but all in all it was pretty good! Whilst in camp, Athletics Australia also organised an open top bus tour to see some of the Newcastle sights and despite a bit of rain we had a great time.
On the 20th of August, the athletics team piled into several coaches and headed to the Games Village, where we received our accreditation and found our room in the townhouses that would be home for the next two weeks. Above our beds we had some ‘village art’ – adorable pictures drawn by Glasgow school kids.
Our first night at the village was spent at the Australian Commonwealth Games Association Welcome Reception at Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum, where there was a huge shrub statue of Clyde, the games mascot.
The Opening Ceremony was on Wednesday night and was so much fun! Walking out past the huge crowd was an incredible experience! The photos don’t do it justice..
The rest of the week was spent training, eating, lazing in the sun (it was actually summer for a few days!) and visits to the salon (which had free facials, nail art, bad hair cuts..)
My heat was on Tuesday the 26th of August, where I ran 57.92 for 4th and unfortunately did not progress to the final. It wasn’t my best race with some bad decisions over the last few hurdles but gave it everything.
I returned to the track a few days later to compete in the heat of the 4x400m relay, where I ran 4th leg. I absolutely love the atmosphere of relays and it definitely didn’t disappoint! We had the Scottish team in our heat so the home crowd atmosphere was at it’s best. We finished 2nd, securing the spot for the final where the girls went on to finish 4th.
And finally, the Closing Ceremony.
Wicked, Apollo Victoria Theatre, London