I like the uniqueness of the London Olympic Marathon Course. There are two roundabouts, one near Buckingham Palace and the other by Guildhall. Who has the right of way on one of those rotaries anyway? There’s a U turn around what looks to be a giant yellow scallop at the Tower of London. By the way, I think runners should have the option of climbing the stairs of the Tower, particularly those who are at the back of the pack. However, I doubt the Beefeaters would approve. Runners pass under bridges and through tunnels on wet uneven and cobblestone pocked surfaces marked by a gaggle of confusing dotted yellow, double pink and white zigzaggy lines. They run over manhole covers, between motorcycles, and in tight spaces all along the course past spectators waving mostly British and Japanese flags. Incidentally, the runners should be reminded to Mind The Gap.
I’m watching the women’s race now and when it started, it was raining and even looked to be hailing. As the race matured, the sun came out and runners began taking water bottles, dropping them on the course where they became obstacles to their competitors. Ethiopia, Kenya and Russia in the lead. I’m a little disappointed that the runners will not be running up the steps of the Clock Tower to ring Big Ben, but I guess it’s not to be.
One final thought. Stonehenge. I know it’s about 100 miles from London, but couldn’t the organizers have found a way to incorporate the Neolithic stones? You know, like place styrofoam replicas (a la This Is Spinal Tap) strategically along the course for runners to pass around like on an obstacle course. I see it as a missed opportunity to show off what is great about Britain.
Ethiopia, Kenya, Russia – 123.