A site entirely dedicated to the Olympic marathons
MEN MARATHON - 2:08:01 Stephen KIPROTICH (uga)
WOMEN MARATHON - 2:23:07 Tiki GELANA (eth)
The Olympic Men's Marathon started and finished in The Mall on Sunday, August 12. Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda broke away from two Kenyan rivals to win the marathon near Buckingham Palace in front of vast crowds enjoying the closing event of the Olympic Games. After running side by side with world champion Abel Kirui and Wilson Kipsang, the 23-year-old put in a powerful kick to shake off the Kenyans six kilometers from the end of the race. He crossed the finish line draped in the red, black and yellow Ugandan flag, which he knelt to kiss. The crowd of people that lined the route through central London on a sweltering day were a sign of the huge enthusiasm the Games have generated. Athletes completed a first loop of 2.2 miles, which took them to the river Thames, south to the Houses of Parliament, and back up to The Mall past Buckingham Palace. After this they ran back to the river, and this time head east, towards the City of London and beyond to the Tower of London, in an eight-mile loop that was repeated three times before crossing the finishing line. Kiprotich's gold medal is the second in Uganda's Olympic history.
The Women's marathon took place on August 5, 2012 around an urban circuit specifically designed for the competition, with start and finish in The Mall. Although the marathon traditionally ends inside the Olympic stadium, this one took the runners past some of the biggest landmarks of London: Big Ben, St. Paul's Cathedral, Trafalgar Square, London Bridge, the Tower of London and finally right by Buckingham Palace, which was near the finish. In a race that began in heavy rain, saw the sun briefly come out and ended in another downpour, Tiki Gelana from Ethiopia won the London 2012 Olympic women's marathon in 2:23:07, holding off Priscah Jeptoo of Kenya by five seconds. Tatyana Petrova Arkhipova of Russia captured the bronze. Gelana felt the marathon slipping away when she tumbled around the halfway point of the marathon, knocked down by another runner as she reached for her water bottle - a hard fall that bloodied her right elbow. Already aching, Gelana thought about pulling out but recovered from the fall to win the women's Olympic marathon and Ethiopia's second-ever Olympic gold medal in the women's marathon, after Fatuma Roba won in 1996 in Atlanta. There were four runners in a bunched pack over the last three miles, but Gelana made her move, grimacing as she surged to the front. With the rain picking up - going from a light drizzle to a deluge - she kept glancing over her shoulder to see if Jeptoo was gaining ground. Gelana coasted in and raised her hands as she crossed the finish line. The British marathoners couldn't follow up. Their best chance at a medal, Paula Radcliffe - the fastest woman ever in the marathon - didn't compete because of a foot injury.