In what I’m happy to call at this early stage in my life as the most tolerable travel delay ever, we got stuck in Dover due to the arrival in the UK of the Olympic Torch. There are worse parades to get held up buy, and as we didn’t actually have any pre purchased tickets or accommodation to worry about losing out on, we were happy to stick around and tick this unplanned one-off off the bucket list.
It was a stunningly typical English day (read:rainy and grey) which probably helped us navigate to the front of the crowd. For anyone that marvels at the wonders of the torch staying lit over such large distances, each runner actually has their own torch. And it is gas fired. It’s really more like a giant, fancy looking barbeque lighter. We managed to position ourselves right by the “handover” where one incrediblynervous looking boy was standing holding his torch, waiting for the runner to come by. Naturally we heckled until he came over to let us take a photo with it. Win.
Not long after, the kid before him came jogging along, complete with an entourage. And I mean a serious entourage – there was actually a bus following him! As he arrived, he stopped and had a yarn with the other boy, they pressed the wee button on the next torch and off he went. Both of these kids had multiple minders with radios and all sorts telling them want to do and herding them into the bus when they were done. It was all very efficient, though it seems there were probably far more staff than necessary!
As the boy who’d just finished his leg walked toward the bus I overheard the cutest conversation as he was gasping for breath saying “I think that’s the fastest I’ve ever run! My arm was getting sore and normally I would have stopped and had a break, but I think I did OK. Did I do ok? Was I fast enough? I think I was fast enough…” and so on as he dissected all of his leg of the run in great detail. Bless.