Twins take part in Olympic run

A BROTHER and sister’s Olympic dream of being among the first to cross the finish line in the London 2012 Stadium came true thanks to the Evening Telegraph.

Twins Kevin and Bev Chapman, of Kettering, could finish the National Lottery Olympic Park Run together in front of their cheering family on Saturday after Kevin won a place on their 41st birthday last month.

They were two of 5,000 runners, including Princess Beatrice, who got to take part.

Bev said: “I couldn’t believe it. It was fantastic. I couldn’t ask for anything better than to be running with my brother. I was happy to be running myself, but it was the icing on the cake.”

Bev won a place in the five-mile run around the Olympic Park, ending in the stadium, through a general ballot in February. However, the pair who ran for the first time together in Run 11 in Northampton last year, were gutted when Kevin missed out.

However, Kevin, who lives on the Ise Lodge estate, entered an Evening Telegraph competition to win a place among the 5,000 running the exclusive warm up for the Games and found out he had won on their birthday, March 15.

He said: “It was a really good birthday present.”

Starting in the shadow of the Olympic Stadium, the Water Polo Arena and the Aquatics Centre the runners set off through the mile-square Olympic Park.

The route took them between the BMX track, Velodrome and Copper Box, where handball, goalball and modern pentathalon will take place.

It finished with a lap of the stadium, ending on the 100m finish line. Each runner was allowed two spectators so their parents David and Marlene, who are in their 70s, could join Bev’s partner and son in the 12,000-strong crowd.

Kevin said: “I just felt so proud of both of us when we ran through together. There’s something really special in terms of being born together and having birthday’s together. This is another of those memorable occasions we have done together.

“It was just amazing coming into the stadium feeling the spirit of past and present Olympians.

“The other thing was all the messages on people’s backs. So many people weren’t running for personal gain, they were running in memory of someone. There was so much compassion it was inspiring.”

Bev said: “It was just great. Kevin spurred me along and kept me at a good pace and kept me going.

“I think we were the only twins doing it. I didn’t see any others.”

Even before winning the competition Mr Chapman had been running around Kettering to help his sister train, so was well prepared.

Kevin, a chartered physiotherapist, said: “People in Thorpe Malsor and the other villages were really supportive and friendly.”