Freya Murray: I was busy planning my wedding, then Paula got injured...

The Team GB marathon runner lets us into her diary of a special summer

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The Independent Online

Freya Murray, a 28-year-old runner from Edinburgh, endured a nail-biting wait to see whether she would be competing in the London Games. Despite qualifying with a quick time in the London Marathon, she was not selected for a place on Team GB. But when Paula Radcliffe was forced out of the marathon with a foot injury, Murray seized her chance. Here is her Olympic diary.


Sunday 29 July

I'm getting married in September to my fiancé, Michael Ross. We were doing table plans for the wedding when I got a call from UK Athletics to say I was going to the Olympics.

Monday 30 July

I had a few bits to finish off in work so I headed in. I work as a structural engineer in Newcastle, but still manage to run around 100 miles a week. I then flew straight down to London on Thursday.

Sunday 5 August

I came 44th. My first thought as I crossed the line was relief. I was the first British woman, and I felt I justified my place on the team – there wouldn't be anyone saying "what was the point of her replacing Paula?".

Tuesday 7 August

Afterwards, I didn't go on any wild nights out like some athletes. Some of the big names are role models for young people, and it's a shame if they see them in a drunken state. The swimmers have a reputation for partying, but distance runners… I don't know if we're boring or just sensible!

Sunday 12 August

The Closing Ceremony was amazing. I was in the stadium. As the confetti fired, Jo Pavey said: "We should keep some of this as a memento."

Monday 13 August

I took back as many souvenirs as I could – I won't be putting them on eBay, I want to prove to my grandchildren I was there. I even managed to squeeze the duvet into my bag.

Tuesday 14 August

When I got back to work I was given flowers and champagne – they even made a scrapbook of newspaper cuttings from the Games. Everyone was excited and they've been so supportive – they've been so patient with me working funny hours and bringing my smelly trainers to work. But I hope this isn't my last Olympics.

Friday 17 August

I've got my wedding to plan, as well as my next marathon. Before I got a place in the Olympics, my plan was to fly to Colorado to train, then get married on 27 September, then run the Chicago marathon and find time for a honeymoon. But now I don't know exactly what is going to happen.