West Monkseaton’s Marie Petrie experienced a once in a lifetime opportunity at the weekend during the Sainsbury’s British Athletics Championships as she took to the track alongside the UK’s finest.
The 50-year-old led out the country’s finest men’s 800m runners, including eventual British champion Michael Rimmer, at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium on Saturday
Petrie, who has worked for Sainsbury’s for three years at their West Monkseaton branch, performed her role in front of a capacity crowd and is adamant she won’t be forgetting the experience any time soon.
“The whole experience was absolutely fantastic,” she said.
“It was something I’d never done before but I was nominated to do it and I was worried sick about doing it, I was up from 3am, but I got such a buzz and it was all so worth it.
“I don’t know what I expected but I just got such a buzz. I couldn’t believe how many people there were and I was getting my camera out all the time.
“It was nothing like what I thought it would be and it was such a privilege to be given the opportunity. I was just in awe of it and I could do it all again.
“I didn’t even know I was going to be selected and I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t think I had done anything out of the ordinary but obviously in their eyes I did.
“I was so lucky to be there, I took along my friend from the store and it was just a fantastic day.”
Petrie was one of almost 50 Sainsbury’s colleagues from across the UK to have led out an event across the three days of the British Championships at the iconic Alexander Stadium.
“I’ll go back with lovely memories and I’ll tell stories about it but it was just such a joy and if anybody else gets picked to do it then just go because it’s absolutely fab,” she added.
“You’re only a little part of it but when you see it all together it’s fantastic.
“My brother-in-law used to represent Great Britain in the Transplant Games – he had a heart transplant and sadly he’s passed away – but that was the only thing I used to watch but after this and getting this buzz I think I will start going to a few more athletics events.
“I’ve got three daughters and they all texted me to say how proud they were of me and that was just an added extra and made me feel so honoured.”
Sainsbury’s is proud to support British Athletics through the Summer Series events and committed to helping young people lead healthier, more active lifestyles.
For more information visit www.sainsburys.co.uk/legacy