Cheeseman first Yorks runner to cross finish at the Olympic Stadium

Dan Cheeseman at the Olympic Stadium. (S)
Dan Cheeseman at the Olympic Stadium. (S)

Harrogate born athlete Dan Cheeseman became the very first teenager and Yorkshire club runner to cross the Olympic Stadium finish line on Saturday March 31 when he took part in the National Lottery Olympic Park Run.

Five thousand runners of all ages and abilities from all over the UK, selected from a random ballot of almost 43,000, took part in making history and creating memories to last them a lifetime.

Princess Beatrice started the event and the five mile run around the Olympic Park took in landmarks such as the Velodrome and Aquatics Centre, before finishing inside the iconic Stadium.

The 18-year-old university student, from Kirby Hill near Boroughbridge, started his running with Harrogate Harriers Juniors, before moving to the City of York club for senior track athletics.

Dan has represented Yorkshire at both junior and senior level over his more usual distance of 800 metres.

From the start Dan was soon running ahead of a host of celebrities and former Olympic athletes, as he followed a quick pace set by the more senior front runners.

After taking in many of the venues that will be used in the summer, including running around the outside of the Velodrome, Dan ran along the corridor the marathon athletes will use, and with music from Chariots of Fire, emerged into the Olympic Stadium.

The cheering crowd of over 10,000 people applauded as he came into sight to run the final 300 metres around the track.

Dan crossed the Olympic finishing line to complete the five-mile run in 27 minutes 19 seconds, only the 11th runner to do so.

‘The run seemed to be over really quickly, and I was so surprised by the amount of noise as I came into the stadium,” said Dan.

“It was fantastic. I didn’t expect to be 11th over the line as most of the athletes were seniors.

“ It was all such a brilliant experience and something I’ll never forget.”