Sprinter Anne goes the distance

Innerleithen's Anne Peacock with Special Olympic Ambassadors Chris Kamara and Katharine Merry. Photograph: Brian Roberts
Innerleithen's Anne Peacock with Special Olympic Ambassadors Chris Kamara and Katharine Merry. Photograph: Brian Roberts

INNERLEITHEN athlete Anne Peacock joined a quarter of a million runners who were making this year count by hitting the streets of central London for the most interactive British 10K the city has seen, with many supporting its official charity Special Olympics Great Britain.

Peacock, who can usually be found sprinting down the tartan track at her local club of TLJT, was one of 10 Special Olympic athletes taking part and clocked a time of one hour 21 minutes and 21 seconds at the event, giving her a highly respectable position of 18,563rd.

“It was my first time in London, and I got to see the London Eye,” she told TheSouthern.

“I had a great time. There were people all along the route, shouting ‘You can do it!’ I sprinted as fast as I could as soon as I saw the finish line.”

25,000 runners gathered at the start line to experience the thrill of running through the streets of London with some of the country’s favourite sports stars and celebrities.

Ambassadors supporting the charity at the British 10K powered by Nike+ included football legends Ray Wilkins MBE and Phil Brown, Sky TV football pundit Chris Kamara, Olympian Katharine Merry, six-time Olympian and BBC Ski Sunday host Graham Bell, World and Olympic champion canoeist Anna Hemmings MBE, former 
M People singer Heather Small, 
TV personality Linda Barker and Fia Tarrant, Chris Tarrant’s daughter.

A local celebrity in her own right, Peacock first became involved in athletics when she was invited to participate in a local race. Since then, she has competed in several national and international events, including the Special Olympics National Summer Games in Glasgow (2005) and Leicester (2009) and the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Athens (2011).

Although she normally favours sprints, and regularly competes at the 100m and 200m distances, Peacock was excited and proud to represent Special Olympics at the British 10K. She added: “Special Olympics has given me something to be proud of, my confidence is a lot better and I have met a lot of people on my journey.”

Known for her great attitude and dedication to sport, Peacock follows a rigorous practice schedule, which includes nightly sessions at her local gym in Innerleithen. She won the Scottish Borders Council Sports Award in recognition of her immense passion and talent for athletics.

Outside of the sport, she attends a local day centre and works at her local charity shop. She also works for Kingsmeadows catering. In her spare time she performs in the local opera where she has served as a regular participant and actress for the past seven years.

Her mother Martha is thankful for the role Special Olympics has played in her daughter’s life, and was especially proud on Sunday to see her participate in the prestigious event.

She told us: “Special Olympics gave us a chance to watch Anne flourish and make us very proud. She glows now and has something positive to talk about.”

Special Olympics Great Britain, the official charity partner of the British 10K, transforms the lives of adults and children of all ages and abilities and who have intellectual disabilities by providing a daily year-round sports programme of training and competition.