By Charlie Akers | BSU at the Games
It was a bright sunny day with not a cloud in the sky and a slight breeze at 11 a.m. It was perfect weather for a run, and people were lining up along the men’s marathon track to watch the last free event of the Olympic Games. Many of the people traveled this last day because they knew this was it.
“We came over to see the last few events of the Olympics cause we didn’t get tickets for a stadium event,” Paul Tester said.
Tester, an Irishman, was not the only one to travel to the last few events. There were people from all around the world cheering on their Olympians in the marathon who hoping to grab one of the last medals before the Olympic Games are over.
Paul Jobber, a local, also came out to catch the last event. He wanted to make the most of the Olympic Games he said. Another London local, James Leppard, made sure to watch the men’s marathon for another reason.
“It’s the last event and also I am a marathon runner myself. It’s great to see them run past historic sites,” Leppard said.
Leppard was not the only runner from London making his way to the marathon; Jim Broughton was another marathon runner watching from behind the gates. He said it was a really good view, with or without a ticket.
Those who did have tickets to see other events even made their way down the watch the men’s marathon. Brian Stilies was one of them, even after seeing the men’s semi-final basketball games and a gold medal soccer match.
“I like the actual city of London,” Stilies said. “So, we were going to walk around. Our original plan was to just go to the marathon because we didn’t have tickets. Then we got tickets, and we thought to walk around and throw another event on.”
With the marathon being one of the last events, some spectators started arriving hours before. But because the course was so large, some people showed up just 30 minutes before the race started and were able to have a great area to watch the runners go by. Leppard said he was only half an hour late and was still able to watch the runners from his spot
The marathon ended with Stephen Kapchorwa from Ugonda getting gold, followed by two Kenyan runners getting silver and bronze, Abel Kirui and Wilson Kipsang Kiprotich. Kapchorwa edge out Kirui by less than half a second for the gold. The United States marathon runner, Keflezighi Mebrahtom, placed fourth, missing the bronze medal by less than two seconds.
With the marathon ending so, too, did the Olympic Games.
“I think it’s been great. People have been friendly. There are always volunteers helping. We have been to two events and haven’t had a problem,” Stilies said.
Charlie Akers is a sophomore telecommunications and journalism major at Ball State University covering sports for BSU at the Games. Follow Charlie and the BSU team at @the8thKing,@bsuatthegames and www.facebook.com/bsuatthegames.