Richmond Park, South London.
It’s where I’ve been training for the majority of my career – putting in the hours of hard work in the build up to big events.
None come bigger than the Olympics in your home town.
Ever since London won the bid for the Olympic Games seven years ago, the desire had been there to get to the start line in the best shape and cross the finish line first. It’s my home city and it meant a lot to me.
In the weeks leading up to the Games, I was really pushing myself to the limit. I had to cover 800m, 1,500m, 5,000m and the marathon in the space of a week, so getting those miles in beforehand was crucial.
The toughest session I can remember was a 25-mile push and it involved a mile-long stretch, which is almost flat in the park. When I hit that bit of road I had to push it as hard as I could for the full mile. When you’re alongside cyclists you’re dying, but you need to keep up.
That was probably the toughest part of my training because it combined sprint and endurance. It’s a three minute effort, but it might be your fifth time of doing it after covering 20 miles. It was tough and gruelling, but it was worth it. I thought about those sessions in my marathon race at the Olympics.
The marathon was special. It was the last race of the Games. Everyone was out on the street cheering me on and having my son on my lap when I got my medal – that was really special.
My next major competition comes in Glasgow in less than two years. The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games have been on my mind for a long time. Having the most Para-Sport medals in Games history is another step forward for Para-Sport after an amazing 2012. It’s another major competition on home soil and I’d love to race at a Commonwealth Games for England.
A lot of talk after the Paralympics was the impact of the night of 6 September or “Thriller Thursday”. Hannah Cockroft, Jonnie Peackock and myself were all going for gold. The atmosphere in the stadium was electric – words really can’t do it justice. People talk about a wall of noise and it was just constant – it just followed you around, lap by lap. I think that Thursday just proved that people are interested in sport, not disability. I think it just proved that we are great sportspeople, we’re on an equal par with Olympians.
After the Games there was a function at the local pub with all my friends and family. I turned up and came into the function room and everyone was howling at me, all wearing werewolf masks. It was all good fun and a laugh.