I’m super excited to announce that I’ve partnered with bPay to help promote a fitness-friendly way of paying for sustenance whilst you’re training! To demonstrate what I mean, I went for a little run around the stunning London 2012 Olympic Park, fed and watered myself along the way – but purposely left my wallet and cards at home! I wanted to be involved in this project because I think it solves a genuine problem I’ve encountered in the pursuit of a healthy, active lifestyle; minimising clutter when I’m training – I simply wore my bPay wristband and hit the road! Click MORE to get my photos from the campus, discover my picturesque [if slightly overcast] running route, and see what I got up to before and after 😀 !
I was at the Olympic Park for a training session with some Olympic athletes in the London Aquatics Centre, which is now a leisure centre and fully open to the public. There’s the epic 50-meter 8-lane pool, and a 25-metre diving pool with multiple platforms, along with a world-class gym on-premise too! The broader Olympic Park has way more to offer than I’d imagined, and is well worth a visit if you’ve not been since it entered life in “public service”. But aside from the Aquatics Centre (where you can learn to swim, dive, play water polo etc – n.b. my bPay band isn’t waterproof, just splash proof!), you can also cycle in the Velodrome, play a spot of tennis or handball, practice fencing, badminton, train in the myriad gyms – and much more…
After my swim session, I went for a 2 mile run to explore the beautiful surrounding parkland grounds – you can click HERE to access my route. My start point was the Velodrome (pictured below), which is the iconic, award-winning 6,000-seat venue of the UK’s overwhelming performance which resulted in 7 gold medals in 2012! These days it’s open for schools, clubs and community groups. There’s also the option to ‘pay and ride’ for visitors. Using my bPay wristband, I grabbed a water, fuelled up with a banana, whilst watching people hypnotically cycle round, then set off on my run!
I worked my way around and then stopped off at the UK’s tallest sculpture, the ArcelorMittal Orbit. At the top you can grab a bite to eat and adore the breathtaking views. However since it was overcast I admired the building from below and jogged on by! Next door you’ll find the huge Olympic Stadium, where those spectacular 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic ceremonies were held. It’s now the home for West Ham United FC and is the National Competition Centre for athletics in the UK, as well as a major venue for many other sporting events. It’s open to the public all year round for visits!
A lot of the fields surrounding the park are planted with wildflowers and you’ll find lots of exotic wildlife – well, exotic for the UK at least! It’s the perfect spot for a little picnic, or indeed an outdoor workout!
You can jog along the canal (or jump on one of the boats) for a tour along the water. You’ll pass the International Quarter, the Copper Box Arena, timber Lodge Arena and then stop off and like me, be a tourist and pretend you’re an athlete whilst striking a pose next to the Olympic rings.
At the end of my swim-and-jog I was ravished and needed a healthy refuel. Luckily, Westfield Stratford is just across the way from the Aquatic Centre, so after finishing my run, I stopped in for a gorgeous tuna steak with quinoa and potato and green tea.
I’ve found that the bPay products remove the traditional bulky constraints of a wallet (& bag in which to carry it), replacing it with a pretty innovative and convenient cash solution. When I run, I often won’t have space in my compression pants for even a credit card; I might only have my phone with me, or it could be just my keys in my hand, not even a phone! The idea behind bPay is that you’ve always got a contactless way of paying for anything costing £20 and under – that emergency bottle of water, a banana for energy, a post-workout meal or juice etc. You simply set it up online, fund your bPay device (sticker / key fob / wristband) with an amount from your usual bank card (anyone with a UK-registered Visa or MasterCard can use them), set it to auto top-up if you want, and you’re good to pay wherever there’s a contactless symbol – without lugging your wallet around! You can pick yours up from Runner’s Need, HERE!