Aviva athletics events

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A man from Horsham is floating ‘on cloud nine’ after running a lap of honour with an Olympic athlete and rubbing shoulders with world champions.

Simon Parrott, 39, of Orchard Road, Horsham, had to pinch himself when he discovered he had been awarded the chance to go for a run with Andrew Ossagie, the 800-metre Olympics finalist, during an event organised by his employer.

“When I found out I had won the lap of honour I nearly fell off my chair. It is very humbling to have been recognised with such an amazing, once in a lifetime prize.

“The lap may have only lasted a couple of minutes, but the memories will stay with me and the family for a lifetime.”

The lap, which took place at the Aviva Birmingham Grand Prix on Sunday August 26, was awarded to Simon in recognition of his contributions to his community through his work as the chairman of St Mary’s Home School Association.

Over the last six years Simon has led the Home School Association for St Mary’s School in the Carfax, Horsham. and helped them to raise £69,000 and also secured another £500 donation from Aviva through this recent award.

He said: “It was amazing to realise I was going to go out and run with an Olympian in a stadium full of people cheering. It was a dream come true really.

“It was surreal when it was happening and a proud moment. Ever since I have been walking on cloud nine.”

Simon met several other Olympians at the event, including 10,000 metre Olympic champion and 5000 metre Olympic, World and European champion, Mo Farah.

The charitable man shared the momentous occasion with his wife Sarah, ten-year-old daughter Chloe and 12-year-old son Sam.

He explained: “After I had done the run we got to meet Christine Ohuruogu, Denise Lewis, Sally Gunnell, Steve Cram, Robbie Grabarz and Greg Rutherford.

“The children are still buzzing having met so many of the medallists who they have been inspired by through the Olympics.

“I woke up on Monday morning and pinched myself,as I could not believe what had just happened. We are all still really excited by the whole experience and it is slowly sinking in that I had a chance to complete the lap.”

Simon is about to embark on his final year as chair for the Home School Association for St Mary’s School.