FOR a man who ran laps around Stanley Park as a boy, stepping out into the Olympic Park was a fantastic feeling.
Tom Reed may not be part of Team GB but as an official Games Maker he is hoping to make a mark on the games.
The Bispham-born coach has been ushering some of the world’s top athletes as they prepare to compete in the Olympic Park.
Mr Reed, 52, was chosen to work with athletics teams after having worked as a track judge at athletics championships across the country.
And speaking from the stadium, he told The Gazette: “I’m really lucky to have got here.
“The noise when Jessica Ennis was introduced, it was amazing.
“I’ve walked into a stadium with 80,000 people going mad. It makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up.”
His role involves escorting competitors and tending to their needs before the races of their lives.
So far he has worked with a wide range of track athletes, and he remains hopeful of catching a glimpse of his favourites too.
He added: “I’m really looking forward to seeing Mo Farah.
“I’d like to see how Adam Gemili, the 100m runner, does, and Christine Ohuruogu too.
“And Usain Bolt of course.
“But when I’m working with them they’re focused and preparing so I can’t really ask for autographs.”
Mr Reed has worked as an athletics coach and track judge in his spare time since college.
He first started running around Stanley Park as a boy.
He was later challenged to take part in the Great North Run aged 19 and has had a passion for athletics since.
Inspired by the Olympics Mr Reed, who now works as an e-learning manager in Huddersfield, now hopes to become a full-time coach.
He said: “What I’d really like to do now is promote sport among young people.
“It’s fantastic watching kids grow up through athletics.”
For now he says he is getting through long days at the stadium on adrenalin from the Olympic atmosphere.
“There’s a real buzz about the place,” he added.