Place: Cannon Street, London.
Date: September 9, 2012.
Camera: Sony DSC-HX20V.
A month ago I stood on the street outside Mansion House tube station and watched the men's Olympic marathon. The crowds were 10 deep in places and there was a real palpable air of excitement — and loud cheers and clapping when the athletes, the support vehicles and the camera crews finally thundered past three times on a loop around the Square Mile.
Today I stood in a similar location to watch the Paralympics men's and women's wheelchair marathon — but there was hardly anyone around. I got there about 45 minutes early, had a coffee, read my book and watched the people opposite me setting up their Team GB support stand.
I was surprised by the low turnout — in this part of London, anyway; I'm sure it was more crowded closer to the finish line and in and around St Paul's Cathedral. This event was just as exciting — if not more so — than the equivalent able-bodied event. These athletes are simply awesome.
I took along a new camera, which I bought yesterday, and dabbled with the functions. Here's some (wonky) footage taken when the competitors were on their second loop — you could tell they were feeling a bit tired as the pace had dropped a little, but they were still impressively fast, probably because they were going downhill.
Finally, congratulations to Britain's David Weir, who won the men's T54 event, his fourth gold medal of these games — he also won the 5,000 metres, 1,500m and 800m track events — and USA's Shirley Reilly, who won the women's T54 event.