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Favorite Marathon You Have Seen (in person)


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  • Favorite Marathon You Have Seen (in person)

    The 1999 Sevilla men's World Championship marathon remains the most memorable one I have seen in person. (Wish I had been in Beijing today! I'd have a new #1!)

    I was outside of Estadio Olimpico 10 minutes before the 7:00pm start. It was blazingly hot and humid, and I had with me a digital thermometer/alarm clock gizmo, as I had been in the Sahara in Morocco the week before.

    The Sevilla air temperature was 104F, and the pavement temp was 128F. They started the race anyway...

    But that night Abel Anton defended his World title by negatively splitting the race by about 90 seconds - an utterly remarkable achievement in conditions that were far worse than those in Beijing today. And with enormous pressure and expectations from his native host country. The best 2:13 I know of!

    Nonetheless, hats off to Wanjiru on such a stunningly magnificent run today.

    (And the temp in the Sahara the week before? 60.5C/141F - I have the reading on film. May I suggest December instead of August for your next trip to the Sahara!)

  • #2
    I guess it would be the definition of "in person". I have been to one OG & five WCs, but in the stadium you see only the finish (sometimes the start). Out on the course, you are at the mercy of what they show on the big screen. And that can vary from very good to as bad as NBC coverage of track and field. My def of "in person" would be on the course somewhere, with access to some sort of big screen. If you take the in stadium version, I have seen 11 marathons "in person". (At the LA OG, m mar was part of the closing ceremonies. As I'm not a bit interested in ceremonies, I didn't have tix. At Edmonton, it was part of the opening ceremonies and we tried to sell our tix. No takers, so we went in. Imagine my joy at discovering a stack of cardboard rectangles under my seat. We were going to be part of a card trick thing. Not suprisingly, their display had a few holes.

    To the question. The LA women's marathon was the most memorable. Benoit ran very well (3rd or 4th best all time) and the drama with the Swiss runner collapsing on the track sticks in the mind.

    Oh, just remembered, two CGs, so at least 3 marathons (can't remember if they were doing women's in '77, think not). None of those stick in my mind, and they probably had some very good runners. Bottom line, I'm not much of a marathon fan. The race is much higher on my list of good things than race walking or ceremonies, but that is damn with faint praise.


    • #3
      Only watched a few in person, and have run in about a dozen. Last year's mens Olympic trials was really neat to watch with the criterion course. Running from east to west side of Central Park and back, I was able to see the runners a lot of times. Good fun. Good crowd. Good energy. Sad footnote, though.