The 2019 Spring bank holiday weekend proved to be a record-breaking one for London Marathon Events. On the Sunday, The Vitality Westminster Mile was confirmed as the world’s largest timed mile event as more than 9,000 people took to the spectacular course which starts at one end of The Mall and finishes outside of Buckingham Palace. Then, the very next day, a record-breaking 19,445 people completed the Vitality London 10,000 on a course that takes in some of London’s most famous attractions before finishing outside the Palace once more.
Working with London Marathon Events for the first time, Input Media was contracted to deliver live coverage of both events in their entirety. In total, more than 9 hours of content were streamed between the BBC Red Button and BBC Sport Online as well as to LME’s Facebook and Twitter platforms. The presentation was led by the duo of Radzi Chinyanganya and Abi Stephens while expert commentary was provided over the two days by the experienced team of Rob Walker and former Olympians Martin Gillingham and Jenny Meadows.
This was a remote production in partnership with Over Exposed Outside Broadcast, with Gravity Media’s Gearhouse UK providing rental equipment for the 10-camera operation. The production included the use of a 4G bonded cellular system paired with high-gain antennas on three motorbike cameras and a roaming ENG unit. Using both the 4G system and additional Fibre connectivity, the cameras were then cut remotely in one of Input Media’s HD galleries at our production centre in Askew Road. Full commentary and graphics were added before the feeds were streamed to both the BBC and the required Social Media platforms. In total a crew of more than 40 people worked across each day of the coverage, either on site or remotely.
There were plenty of stories over the two days. A total of 36 waves of the Westminster Mile set off on the Sunday with participants ranging from Sir Mo Farah to first time runners. There were also special races for the likes of former England Cricket captain Andrew Strauss, who was supported by the entire England World Cup cricket squad as he launched the Ruth Strauss Foundation in honour of his late wife. Downton Abbey star Jim Carter was then one of those on hand to run the Unified Mile which celebrated 50 years of the Special Olympics. The elite Men’s race was won by Chris O’Hare who ran an exact four-minute mile while Melissa Courtney held off European champion and Olympic favourite Laura Muir to win the Women’s race.
Coverage of the London 10,000 saw interviews with athletics royalty as we spoke to race starter Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill and Sir Mo Farah, who won his seventh title in this event. It was also double delight for Steph Twell as she won the women’s elite race having also secured a Guinness World Record the previous day for running the fastest ever mile while holding hands, a record she shared with her husband Joe Morwood. Then, among the mass runners, we saw nearly 700 women complete the course in their underwear as part of the inspiring #CelebrateYou campaign. Mental health advocate Jada Sezer and Loose Women panellist Andrea McLean kept viewers entertained as they called in Skype updates along the route as part of our coverage.
Those are just some of the stories we helped tell during two memorable days in the heart of London.