Olympic Torch Missed Opportunities

On Tuesday the relay came to Lufbra, and I took the day off work to be there.

My plan was to follow the torch as closely as possible, and get a few miles in. (I followed the torch in and out of town, but went off on my own during the prolonged publicity stops)

I had hoped to start at Quorn, but Quorn to Loughborough was one of the bus bits, as was its departure to Hoton. These sections are only a couple of miles, and there are a lot of (fairly fast) people who could have taken it over these less populated stretches, so I think that opportunities may be being missed.

All said and done it was a great atmosphere, with the crowds cheering anything that moved.


  • www.endurancelife.com/realrelay

    For those who believe this is a SPORTING event and not a parade with the other 99% of it spent on a bus. Excellent event (and yes we/they are on course to catch the official torch despite starting 10 days later), and we are running every step 24/7. On top of following the official torch route the torch/baton has also been to the top of the highest peaks in Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England. Fantastic to be part of!!!!image

  • I expect the logistics of having runners take the torch along all the less populated roads AS WELL as the official in-and-out-of-the-main-towns streches would be huge.

    Even if they are 'less populated', there would still be spectators, to there would still need to be consideration for accomodating them, road closures etc.


  • Dreamtwister wrote (see)

    I stopped reading when he said he took the day off work to be there!

    Me too image 

    I just can't get enthusiastic about the idea of thousands of people carrying a torch for 200 yards each.

  • I thought the same Wilkie - I actually thought 8000 people were going to run 8000 miles but some of them only seen to have run a few 100 metres.

  • Loads of people running around with an oversize cigar lighter was as one person put it and you sort of wonder why it would be interesting BUT in 2002 I was working on and off in Athens. In a taxi back to the hotel one day. The traffic is always a nightmare in Athens even on the dual carriageway bit. Suddenly realised there was NO traiffc on the other side of the road. Just about to say what's going on when there was a man carrying the Olympic torch down the middle of the road. Of course it was the torch for the Winter Olympics. Completely forgot they did it for that so caught me by surprise, it was literally coming through Athens on its way from Mount Olympus to the Airport. Not many people watching but I found it to be an amazing moment and quite emotional.

    So when it comes through Bedford and Luton on Sunday with a British crowd going bananas it will be quite amazing. I think that the bus sections are possibly to avoid some of the most congested bits and alos to get it round the country in time.

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭

    The bus sections are usually whilst it is the middle on nowhere (very little support) and also where there is also no pavements or narrow roads which would impact on safety i suppose. If they ran every single mile of it at the speed they do now they would have had to start the actual relay about 12 months go

  • but it CAN be done on foot as is being proven, (no cars, no motorways and each and every place the torch has "visited" - the torch passed through some areas via motorway - is being covered)... even starting 10 days behind the official torch. I have nothing against the Olympics (in fact I am a big fan) but I find the so called relay a bit of a con. They should just call it a tour. Its not a relay. I realise with crowds etc they would have to compromise somewhat due to road closures etc unlike the above event. However, they could have made more of an effort to make it more than having several people run 100m before handing it back to a bus.

    I dont believe because somewhere is a quiet area that means they shouldnt run through it. The people involved above are running with no support through the night. If its about sport, surely sport should be involved, promoted and encouraged.

    I also believe a lot of it is to protect corporate identities (ie McDs and Coca Cola)... you know, in case some club runners turned up to run with a Pepsi tshirt or the like image

  • I booked a whole day off to see the tour - but turned out it was later anyway. Glad I made the family come out for it though. It's pretty poor if you can't be arsed seeing the torch - it's not like it comes round frequently eh ?
  • Seeing the torch on my local leg was ok.  Just ok.  Pretty underwhelmed, if I'm honest.  And mightily unimpressed with all the corporate vehicles in the convoy (yes, I know, sponsorship.......................).  Best bit was a local council lorry which got caught in the convoy so had no option but to join in.

    What was really special was that the torch bearer was a former pupil of our tiny village school.  He brought the torch to school and every one of the kids had their photo taken with him and the torch.  They each got a copy of the photo which they made into a card as a memento.  That, to me, was much more about fostering the olympic spirit than a lorry handing out bottles of C*** C***.

  • Have to agree what with being a complete Olympophile, the whole Olympics thing so far has left me cold with sell outs to corporate greed and backhanders, and 'celeb' suck ups   ...  not long to go now though until we can dispense with the crass and hand over to the sportsmen and women and really see what the Olympics is about.


    Trichick, I did a leg of the real relay too although seems quite a while ago now (did one of the earlier ones in Wales).


  • I think a big part of the torch relay is to bring the Olympics 'to the community' and it seems to have done a really good job of that. Just because the Olympics itself is a sporting event, I think that doesn't have to be the sole emphasis and it's great that people who ordinarilly may be turned-off are getting enthused.

    Most of the torch bearers seem to have been picked as being locally known celebrities and ordinary people who've either done good things for their communities or faced some kind of adversity; it would have needed to be a very different selection process if they'd had to also pick people who could run a required pace for very large parts of the route.

    Also, on the 'quieter' streches that the bus is doing, I'm fairly certain people would be turning out to see the torch if those streches were being run.... so there would HAVE to be provision for spectators, traffic control and so on, along the entire route.
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