David Bedford quits 2012 Olympics role over marathon route dispute

Campaigners who were hoping to get the 2012 Olympics Marathon returned to east London have been disappointed by news of former distance world record holder David Bedford quitting as head of the race organisers.

Mr Bedford, who is also race director of the annual London Marathon, resigned from the Olympic role because of his ‘frustration’ with organisers, it has emerged this week.

It is a further blow to Telco, The East London Community Organisation, which launched a campaign in January to get the race back after Olympics chief Lord Coe switched it to the West End.

“This is the nail in the coffin,” one Telco delegate told the East London Advertiser today.

“We’ve lost the fight to get the Olympics marathon back where it belongs.

“Now we have to move forward to secure jobs and social housing after 2012.”

Bedford decided not to work on the Olympic events any further due to his “frustration” with the Olympics London Organising Committee’s “approach to event management.”

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Mr Bedford criticised its handling of a dispute with Tower Hamlets, one of the five ‘host’ boroughs, over the marathon route.

Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman at first went for a judicial review after the 2012 Marathon was re-routed away from east London and the stadium itself, with the start and finish outside Buckingham Palace instead.

But the mayor dropped his legal challenge after a deal with Lord Coe in February to give Tower Hamlets’ unemployed a 48-hour head start to apply for any jobs going at the Olympics site.

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