I visited the Olympic Park today and finally, for the first time, I got excited about the upcoming Olympics.
The Olympic Park is still a construction site, but the Olympic Stadium, the warm-up tracks, the Aquatics Centre, the Velodrome, the Basketball Arena, The Water Polo Arena and more is all there. Pretty neat.
There are also 2 things I learned today about the 2012 Olympic Marathon.
- The 2012 Olympic Marathon will not finish in the Olympic Stadium. It will be a course through Westminster and the City, which will actually be a short round course that each marathon runner will have to run 4 times to finish.
- Do you know why the marathon is exactly 26.2 miles? Well, in 1908 (first Olympics in London – this year London is hosting the Olympics for the third time!) the marathon route started outside Windsor Castle and the Royals wanted to see the start (so the start line had to be moved appropriately). The route ended in the Olympic Stadium just in front of the Royal box. Some reworking of the stadium entrance was necessary and running into the stadium counter-clockwise to make this happen. So, the planned 25-mile route ended up being 26.2 miles. Later, this was established as the official marathon distance. So, if it hadn’t been for the Royal Family in 1908, the marathon distance would have been closer to 25 miles. (Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marathon)