World of Sport

Is this the future of ‘cheating’ the London Marathon?

World of Sport

View gallery


We all look for quicker, easier ways of doing things and that is certainly the case when it comes to gruelling challenges like running marathons.

This may not be an easier way of completing, say, the London Marathon, but it is most definitely quicker and more convenient.

A one mile digital taster of the London Marathon course was unveiled at the event's annual Expo in advance of the race on Sunday 13 April and it's breathtakingly realistic.

The full digital course is set to be completed by October, according to organisers, and it presents an amazing set of possibilities for would-be runners.

The below footage shows a short clip from the free Showcase demonstration of the digital London Marathon course, also showing how it can be used in a social capacity with the other runners (of potential friends) highlighted on the screen.

Race director Hugh Brasher told Reuters regarding the demonstration: "It's certainly the next-best thing to doing the race and turns what could be a dull treadmill run into a really exciting experience."

So what would this really mean for wannabe runners of the world's leading marathons? Is there a chance that this could be the future of marathon-running for the masses who miss out on entry to the real thing?

Almost two million people have missed out on participating in the London Marathon since the event began back in 1981 and many find themselves rejected from the ballot year after year.

While the digital experience would never be able to truly replicate the challenge of a marathon itself with the terrain not remotely similar to that of a treadmill - not to mention the unique atmosphere - it's surely the next best thing.

View gallery


For the hoards of runners who long for a place in the London Marathon, at the very least this represents a training ground or a chance to test themselves against the distance, and indeed their friends.

The social aspect of such a digital experience would no doubt be conducive to sharing times and improving performances, which can only be a good thing.

Further fundraising opportunities would be made available for those unable to gain entry to the event itself, while the very concept of competing in a marathon would not have to be such a sink or swim gamble for some.

It may be regarded by some as cheating by claiming to have completed a major marathon down the local gym on a treadmill, but given the immense popularity of such events, this can only be seen as a positive development.

The future of marathon running? Nothing would ever beat the experience of the genuine event, but this would be an ideal and welcome alternative.

[PREVIEW: Farah races into unknown territory, targets British record]

View gallery



View comments (18)
  • Bell steers England to victory, hosts take 2-1 Ashes lead

    Bell steers England to victory, hosts take 2-1 Ashes lead

    Ian Bell guided England to an eight-wicket victory over Australia in the third test at Edgbaston on Friday to put the hosts 2-1 up in the series with two matches to play. Bell (65 not out) and Joe Root, with an unbeaten 38, anchored the chase after England were set to 121 to win on the third day at Edgbaston where a dominant performance banished memories of a heavy defeat at Lord's. England lost Alastair Cook (7) and Adam Lyth (12) to set a few nerves on edge but Bell, dropped on 20 by Australia captain Michael Clarke, made his second 50 of the match to spark raucous celebrations after Root hit the winning runs. More »

    Reuters - 2 hours 3 minutes ago
  • Lambert leaves Liverpool to join West Brom

    Lambert leaves Liverpool to join West Brom

    Liverpool offload Rickie Lambert after just one unproductive season at Anfield More »

    Reuters - 52 minutes ago
  • Serie A - Confusion as Stevan Jovetic joins Inter

    Serie A - Confusion as Stevan Jovetic joins Inter

    Inter Milan have signed Stevan Jovetic from Manchester City, although there were conflicting reports as to whether it was a loan or permanent switch. More »

    Eurosport - 2 hours 34 minutes ago
  • Can we ever trust Fifa again? Football writer Jonathan Wilson and Copa90's Eli Mengem investigate

    Can we ever trust Fifa again? Football writer Jonathan Wilson and Copa90's Eli Mengem investigate

    Can we ever trust Fifa again? Who replaces Sepp Blatter? These key questions and more are answered on this week's episode of The Rail, as Spencer is joined by football writer Jonathan Wilson and Copa90's Eli Mengem. More »

    Copa90 - 2 hours 30 minutes ago
  • No snow no problem as China's financial might lands 2022 Games

    No snow no problem as China's financial might lands 2022 Games

    The snow will be fake, but the very real financial muscle China boasts proved decisive on Friday when Beijing won the right to host the 2022 Winter Olympics. Games officials meeting in Kuala Lumpur voted for the Chinese capital over the lure of a winter wonderland offering from Kazakhstan's Almaty, in a clear sign that the International Olympic Committee is craving solidity and security after a series of problems and headaches. While Rio scrambles to make up lost time in its building for the 2016 Olympics, and Tokyo is embroiled in a stadium drama the allure of a megacity with a cast-iron financial guarantee proved irresistible. More »

    Reuters - 3 hours ago