A SPORTS-MAD husband and wife team are working as Games Makers at the Olympic Games.
Tim and Carol Cook have been helping out at the road cycling and marathon events for London 2012.
The couple, who live in Deeping St James Road, Northborough, describe themselves as ‘fanatical road runners’ and have been involved in athletics for about 25 years.
Along with 250,000 other people they applied to be volunteers as soon as the call went out, they were among the 100,000 people interviewed and became two of the 70,000 who were eventually chosen.
Tim says it was their experience at helping with the London Marathons that ensured their being picked.
They attended training camps and were issued with their uniforms - the bright purple and red T-shirts and jackets with beige trousers that we have all seen on our TV screens plus matching shoes and socks. As members of the army of volunteers they pay their own travel costs but they are provided with a packed lunch on working days.
Tim says the atmosphere in London has been buzzing and people who run pubs and cafes, as well as residents, have been really kind to them, bringing out cups of tea, inviting them in to watch television and generally looking after them.
He did two shifts at the road cycling events, stationed as team leader at two crossing points in Chelsea. At Sunday’s women’s marathon he was positioned in Lower Thames Street. He will be helping at the men’s marathon event this weekend and then both he and Carol will return for the Paralympic Games marathons.
“It’s been absolutely tremendous – just awesome to be involved,” Tim said this week.
“Because of the uniform the public are constantly coming up and asking you questions. Even on the way back on Sunday we stopped at the South Mimms services and a little boy came up to talk to us. It would be nice if the feel-good factor could outlast the two weeks of the games.”
In order to get to their designated meeting point near Blackfriars Bridge at 7.30am on Sunday they had to set their alarm clock for 3.30am in order to be on the road by 4am. They have been driving and parking at Cockfosters tube station.
“It’s been very tiring – when we get home we just flake out,” Tim says.
They have been volunteers at the London Marathon for 15 years. Tim is a timekeeper for the leading ladies while Carol acts as a marshall.
Both are athletics coaches and members of Werrington Joggers. Tim is chairman of the club and he is also a magistrate. They run their own small business, Run4Fun, offering personal training, although both have day jobs. Tim, 52, is currently on a six-month sabbatical from being head of facilities management for Action For Blind People while Carol, 49, is volunteer co-ordinator for Age UK in Peterborough. The couple have two grown-up children, Graham and Claire.
Both are specialists in endurance running and this year’s Great Eastern Run will be Tim’s 100th half marathon.