A CNN.com journalist has begun his bid to "tweet" the London Marathon — but admits he has no idea whether his plan will work.
Pete Wilkinson, a digital news producer at CNN.com in London, plans to update his Twitter page during Sunday’s race via text messages from his cellphone but said that typing and running at the same time was “incredibly hard.” Wilkinson hopes to complete the iconic 42.1 kilometer (26.2 miles) race in four hours or less and said he planned to tweet without stopping. “My main problem is going to be not crashing into other people,” Wilkinson told CNN’s Isha Sesay. “I don’t think I’ll have time to stop for too long.” “Here we go! Walking to the start now. Greetings to all cnn viewers and readers,” Wilkinson wrote in his first tweet of the day. Follow Pete as he tweets Wilkinson said he was standing at the start next to runners dressed as the Sergeant Pepper-era Beatles. “Gonna be long winding road,” he wrote. He’s not the first marathon runner to tweet during the race — a Google search turned up one runner who tweeted during last year’s Boston Marathon and another who plans to do it during Sunday’s race in London. But it’s new enough that Wilkinson said he wants to give it a go. “I’m hoping it will detract attention from my running,” said Wilkinson. “It seemed a good way to do something new.” Watch Pete explain why he wants to tweet his epic run » Wilkinson is also running for charity and said any extra attention it brings to his cause “can’t be a bad thing.” The London Marathon starts in Greenwich, in the southeast of the city, and goes along the River Thames. It takes in a number of landmarks including the Tower of London, Parliament and Big Ben before ending at Buckingham Palace.
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More than 35,000 runners are expected to take part, according to marathon organizers. Race officials have advised Wilkinson not to tweet while running because of safety, concerned he might bump into other runners or trip over, but they won’t prevent him from tweeting, he said. And what will Wilkinson be updating his followers with on race day “I’m going to tweet about how my muscles are feeling, how my knees are feeling,” he said. “My goal is to finish in four hours, so I’ll keep people informed about whether I’m going to make that. I suspect only my mother is going to be following me anyway.” The Flora London Marathon, as the race is officially known, takes place each April and is one of the top marathons in the world.
All six male and female medallists from the marathon at the Beijing Olympics last year are going to be running, organizers say, along with celebrities including chef Gordon Ramsay and ITN correspondent Tim Ewart. The top prize for male and female finishers is $55,000. Wilkinson was not considered to be among the favorites.