London, UK: London Marathon Officials approached Sean Hartnett, a geography professor at University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (in the US), to help profile 2012 Olympic course. Nicknamed as ‘Professor of Marathon’ Hartnett has already made profile maps for the Boston, Chicago, New York and other marathons — and for individual runners. Such maps track changing elevation of course, which has proved helpful to runners as they prepare for races.
While preparing maps Hartnett travels the course with his variety of GPS equipments. Since most of the Olympics site is unseen, the London Marathon committee along with Google Earth have sent him data to create the map.
Hartnett is working on his map from a graphic standpoint, using Adobe Illustrator. Speaking to Leader Telegram he said, “It’s key to design the maps so runners can cull information quickly. What I learned is how to make the profile really attuned for what (runners) want.”
Hartnett’s services were first used by elite Kenyan marathon runner Paul Tergat. Soon other racers requested his services; then the races themselves were enlisting his help.
Hartnett further stated, “Knowledge of the course is the key in preparation for running a marathon among the sport’s elite competitors. For these guys it’s like surgery in terms of what type of preparation they want.” Hartnett explained that he began mapping courses back when he was a runner in order to give himself an advantage.
Source: Leader Telegram