On Sunday, Universal Sports will air the historic London Marathon live from the UK. There are a few marathons I’ll actually try to watch, Boston, New York and London. Unfortunately, I don’t have Universal Sports so the point is moot, but if you have it and want to watch some live sports Sunday morning, then London might be for you.
Universal Sports’ Coverage of the Marathon Majors Series Continues this Sunday with the Historic London Marathon
TV Coverage Starts at 11am ET; Online at 8am ET this Sunday, April 25
Organizers Pull Out All The Stops To Ensure Elite Athletes Make The Event In The Wake Of Iceland’s Recent Eruption
LOS ANGELES – April 23, 2010 – Fresh off coverage of the legendary Boston Marathon this past Monday, Universal Sports continues its focus on the World Marathon Majors with the London Marathon this Sunday, April 25. Universal Sports’ two-hour television broadcast will kick-off at 11:00 am ET, with re-airs at 8:00 pm and 11:00 pm ET. As the world-class field competes for the London title, the runners will also be chasing the World Marathon Majors Series $1 million jackpot. For channel listings in your area, please go to UniversalSports.com.
The London Marathon, one of the World Marathon Majors, is a highly competitive and unpredictable event known for producing fast times and numerous personal records from its elite field of runners. Samuel Wanjiru of Kenya currently holds the course record at 2:05:10, set in 2009, in a race where a mere 10 seconds was the difference between second place and the title. Paula Radcliffe of Great Britain holds the women’s course record at 2:15:25, set in 2003. In addition to the athletic competition, the marathon also becomes a city-wide festival, as the route comes alive with bands, cheering crowds and costume-wearing fans, many spilling out from the 81 pubs along the course. The London Marathon is also regarded as the most historically dramatic of all the majors, putting runners on a flat course around the River Thames and by many of London’s most historic landmarks including Tower Bridge, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Big Ben and the Buckingham Palace.
Iceland’s volcanic eruption has become a major storyline in Sunday’s Marathon, forcing organizers to pull out all stops in getting their elite field to London, as heavy smoke and ash has shut down Europe’s airspace. Organizers have been implementing emergency measures – including chartering planes and using rail and car services. Coaches are concerned that runners with extended travel schedules will arrive fatigued, compounding issues surrounding the normal acclimation process.
Olympic champion and race favorite Wanjiru (Kenya) is set to defend his London title after organizers have arranged for a private jet to fly him to London. Wanjiru is currently leading in the Marathon Majors Series points race with 50. Joining Wanjiru on the flight will be competitors Duncan Kibet (Kenya), Rotterdam Marathon champion, and former Amsterdam Marathon champion Emmanuel Mutai (Kenya). Kibet, who will be making his London debut, clocked a 2:04:27 last year, the second-fastest marathon time ever.
Defending women’s champion Irina Mikitenko (Germany) will headline the women’s field, traveling via rail to reach London to avoid air-travel delays. She is also leading the Marathon Majors Series with 40 points. Mikitenko will face stiff competition from last year’s runner up Mara Yamauchi (Britain), who is traveling by car and then rail to reach London. United States challenger Deena Kastor, as well as several top Japanese runners, are still facing uncertainties with their travel arrangements.
London is the second race in the World Marathon Majors Series, as the elite athletes compete in five world-class marathons with the goal of earning the $1 million jackpot. Universal Sports will follow the athletes along their journey through the Marathon Majors Series, and offers in-depth coverage of the world’s most renowned marathons.
In addition, UniversalSports.com will offer the ultimate online experience for marathon fans: On-demand viewing (VOD) of the race, beginning at 8:00 am ET, for $4.99 that will include athlete profiles, course maps, field previews, highlights, photos and recaps.
That’s it for this post.