Athletics, in the modern day, is sports entertainment. The London Olympics can attest to that. With 80,000 people in the evenings and 75,000 people in the morning sessions, Athletics in London showed that it can, with proper management and orchestration, compete with major televised sports around the world.
Mo Farah, 2011 NYC Half, photo by PhotoRun.net
The Virgin London Marathon announced last week that Mo Farah, 2012 Olympic double gold medalist, will run the first half of the Virgin London marathon in 2013 and the complete distance in 2014. This seems to have created some controversy. Note the column below from Toni Reavis, one our most articulate writers about the sport we love.
My thoughts? From the marketing side, it is brilliant. From the purist side, I am even okay. I would be upset if he was running the second half, really. Truth is, marathon does not even start, in my mind until 30-35 kilometers anyway. Everything up to that distance is merely window-dressing.
Mo Farah is a rock star in the UK. If Dave Bedford and Hugh Brasher can get more media exposure with such an approach, more power to them.
As you would surmise, Toni Reavis begs to differ. But then, dear readers, that is why we post his blogs! (Oh, please sign up for Toni's blogs, they are well written, thoughtful, and remind us of what our sport should be and could be.)