Michael Scott talks about his success story of going from being a sickly teenager to a London Marathon competitor.
Growing up with a heart defect was difficult. While other kids my age were going to football practice and on beach holidays with their families, I was in and out of hospital. My only involvement in a sporting competition was watching it on the television.
One of my favourite events to watch was the London Marathon. When I was just 14, a man from London, named Chris Brasher, organised the first London Marathon. It was 29 March 1981 and 7,747 people were involved in the race. (1)..... Now, there are 46,500 participants each year from all corners of the world and of all levels of ability. Many people say the marathon is the ultimate physical challenge.
I always found it surprising to see how many well-trained athletes did not complete the course each year. (2)..... Some dropped out because of injury or illness, but most just ‘hit the wall’, an infamous experience suffered when their bodies simply ran out of fuel. For many runners, by the time they reached the 30 to 35 km point in the race, they just couldn’t go any further. Their muscles would cramp and their heart and lungs could not obtain enough oxygen.
Each year, I tried to imagine what it would be like to line up before all the crowds prepared to run the 42.2 kms along roads, up hills and around some of the most famous sights in London. The race started in Greenwich Park, then competitors would race along the River Thames, towards Big Ben, and eventually ending in front of Buckingham Palace.
I decided to talk to my heart specialist and find out if there was any chance that I could train my body to handle running 42.2 kms. At first, he thought I was joking, but soon he realised how important this was to me. (3)..... At the same time, I started lifting weights to build muscle strength.
Over the course of a year, I progressed from just walking to running. Running became a daily thing for me and I was building more strength and confidence with every step.
Finally, at the age of 19, the time came to apply for the London Marathon. (4)..... I couldn’t believe how far I had come and that finally my dream would come true.
My doctor and I worked together to set out a training schedule that would allow me to safely complete the entire 42.2 kms. Physically, I was fit and my heart appeared to be in good condition. (5)..... On average most of the runners take four to five hours to complete the race and water is essential to all of the competitors. The year before 710,000 bottles of water had been consumed during the race!
Soon enough it was race day. My family, as well as various friends were all gathered to watch and support me. (6)..... I finished the race in less than six hours, which was amazingsince just a few years before I was barely able to run across the garden.
Today, I am still running. I have not competed in the London Marathon again but I do volunteer each year to assist the athletes in any way I can throughout the race.
AOver the years, I watched the event grow into the biggest of its kind in the world.
BThree weeks later, I received my acceptance letter and was over the moon.
CThe London Marathon is the most challenging marathon in the world.
DOut of the over 46,000 starters, on average, only 33,000 actually crossed the
EIt was the most difficult and the most exciting and rewarding experience of my life.
FI began walking for a few minutes at a time, increasing my intensity until I was
able to walk for 10 minutes a session.
GThe biggest problem would be dehydration, as it would be with all of the com-
Put the verbs in brackets into the present simple or present continuous.
1. A: I ............... (see) you’re wearing a new suit. You look very professional.
B: Thank you. I ............... (see) a client after work.
2. A: Why ...... you ............... (smell) the soap?
B: It ............... (smell) fantastic, just like flowers.
3. A: ...... you ............... (enjoy) your new job?
B: Yes. I ............... (enjoy) working with children.
4. A: Kim ...... (be) such an easy-going person.
B: Not today. It seems she ...... (be) really moody with everyone.
5. A: I ............... (think) of going on holiday to Egypt.
B: I ............... (not / think) it’s a very good idea.
6. A: I ............... (have) problems with my kitchen sink. Can you help me?
B: Not really, but I ........... (have) the phone number of a good plumber who can.
Your friend takes care of the environment very much. He/she doesn’t want to spoil
the environment during his/her holiday. Explain to him/her that he/she can choose
eco-friendly holiday and what the eco-tourism is. Write about the following:
• Eco-tourism doesn’t cause environmental damage as building of new hotels, sports,
centers, new roads do.
• Eco-tourism aims to help the locals who live in the area.
Most people agree that eating junk food such as chips, cookies, and candies is not healthy, yet almost everyone eats these things anyway.
Do you eat junk food? Why? Which are your favourites?
What other eating habits have a negative effect on the people’s health?
What kinds of food are good for your health?
Examination Card #34 (15)
Read the text given below. For questions (1–8), choose from the people (A–C).