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The Warmup [Cool-Down] Lap | 4.20.12 - It's London Marathon Weekend!

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The 2012 London Marathon is this weekend, with the group of elite runners starting things off Sunday at 4 a.m. ET. As one of the five World Marathon Majors, London also marks the last big marathon before the one in this summer's Olympic Games, held in the same location. And while it may not have the same level of grandiose as Boston or New York, it does hold some very special significance in the world of marathons -- it's the reason the distance is 26.2 miles.

The 1908 London Games established what is now the customary distance of the marathon. The reason? To provide a better view for the royal family at the start at Windsor Castle and the finish in the Olympic Stadium. The result, Wallechinsky said, was a distance that was "completely arbitrary."

And that's how the marathon went from 24.85 miles to 26.2. The New York Times has the full story.

Now onto some London links!

London Marathon: So Much to Sort Out | News

After Sunday's London race, a clear picture of this summer's Olympic marathons should emerge.

Athletics-London champion Mutai plans to ignore Kenyan rivals - Yahoo! Eurosport

Champion Emmanuel Mutai does not expect a tactical race at this year's London Marathon even though he is among six Kenyans hoping to impress the national selectors ahead of the Olympics.

The London Marathon spectators who also go the extra mile | The Guardian

Running a marathon requires total dedication – from us inflatable sausage-banging supporters too

And here's where to look for live updates come Sunday morning.