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History of Olympic Marathon Measurement 1976-2012

The following measurement reports are available in Pete Riegel's archive of course measurement articles :

1976 Measurement of the Olympic marathon course, Montreal 1976 OlyMar76.pdf 51kB Wallingford, Ron
1984 Measurement of 1984 Olympic Marathon LA84.pdf 10 MB Letson, Robert & Baumel, Bob
1988 Measurement of 1988 Olympic Marathon Seoul88.pdf 7 MB Letson, Robert
1996 Measurement of 1996 Olympic Marathon Atlanta96.pdf 22 MB Riegel, Pete
2000 Measurement of 2000 Olympic Marathon Sydney00.pdf 1 MB Jones, Hugh & Williamson, Norrie & Cundy, Dave & Wickiser, Mike
2004 Olympic Marathon Athens 2004 OlympicMarathon2004.pdf 19 MB Grall, Jean-Marie
2004 Olympic Racewalks Athens 2004 OlympicRaceWalk2004.pdf 6 MB Grall, Jean-Marie
2008 Olympic Marathon & Walks - Beijing, 2008 Beijing 2008.pdf 1 MB Cundy, Dave
2012 Olympic Marathon London 2012 om2012website.pdf 7MB Sandford, Mike

Analysis of reports:

Olympic Marathon year
No of riders
range of results
13 m for a 31km distance
8 m for a 31km distance
91 m
60 m
18 m
26 m
9 m

*An interesting article "Measuring the 1992 Olympic Marathon" by Bob Baumel appeared on page 17 of Measurement News No 41, May 1990. It reviewed the history of Olympic Marathon Measurement and made a proposal for the IAAF measurement of the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Marathon. I have not seen any report of what was actually done for Barcelona.

First Olympic Marathon Measurement using an Electrically Assisted Bicycle and the Oldest Olympic Marathon Measurer:

Please forgive inclusion the following personal contribution to Olympic Measurement History.

Looking at the previous Olympic Marathon Measurement reports it is clear that nobody has used an electrically assisted bike or pedelec as my Kalkhoff Agattu is known is Europe. So I can claim the honour of beibg the first. Although the London course was mainly flat (sharpest rise 9m in 200m 4.5%), I would not have been confident about keeping up with Hugh and David with out a little supplement to my pedalling from my electric motor. I had first used it in April 2011 and it had enabled me to keep up with Hugh Jones and Dave Cundy on a much tougher measure of that year's London Marathon. This type of electrical assistance is certainly of great benefit to older measurers who are less fit. My bike still feels like an ordinary bike and I can ride it up hills with less wobbling than would be the case for an unassisted bike

On the 15 June 2012 after I had posted a short account on the RRTC's Road Course Measurement Bulletin Board I had an email from our defacto historian, Pete Riegel:

Thanks for posting your experience on the BB. ......... Looks like your electric bike propelled you to "oldest Olympic marathon measurer" status. Well done!

A bit of investigation confirmed that at the age of 70 I had just beaten John Disley who was 67 when he measured the Atlanta course in 1996.

Mike Sandford