Even without tickets to the London 2012 Olympics you and your family could still enjoy some of the free Olympic events on offer, so don’t miss out on your opportunity to see some of the world’s top athletes for free!
Many of the outdoor Paralympic and Olympic events will cost nothing to watch and include the triathlon, cycling and the marathon. Here’s a list of the free Olympic events you can catch this summer.
Let the games begin!
Men’s 20km Race Walk: 4 August, 5pm
Men’s 50km Race Walk: 11 August, 9am
Women’s 20km Race Walk: 11 August, 5pm
This fast-paced speed-walk, which is part of the athletics programme, is a great watch – and it’s one of the free Olympic events that won’t whizz by you too fast. Competitions include a men’s 50km and 20km race, and a women’s and men’s 20km race. Starting and ending at The Mall, which is the road leading up to Buckingham Palace.
- Watch their feet carefully as rules dictate that one foot must remain on the ground at all times!
- View for free in London’s Green Park – the section of Constitution Hill after the Queen Victoria Memorial is not ticketed
- The athletes follow the course multiple times in laps, so you should be able to spot the competitors every five minutes or so
- Download the route here
Men’s Road Race: 28 July, 10am-6pm
Women’s Road Race: 29 July, 12pm-4pm
Some of the world’s best two-wheeled speed demons can be caught cycling the gruelling Road Race, starting at The Mall which leads up to Buckingham Palace, and heads south-west through the city.
- If you’re looking for free Olympic events that span a few different London boroughs, this road cycling event is a great one for you. Watch the competitors as they go through six London boroughs, four Royal Parks and some Surrey countryside
- The ticketed areas are The Mall and Box Hill but you can watch the competitors go by in the rest of the 120km stretch of road for free
- Download the map here
Cycling Time Trials
Women cycling time trial: 1 August, 12.30pm – 2.30pm
Men’s cycling time trial: 1 August, 2.15pm – 4.15pm
Don’t miss the Time Trial where the quickest cyclist is crowned the Olympic champion. The route takes the cyclists over Hampton Court Bridge and into Surrey.
- The course heads onto Hurst Road and will cover the Bessborough and Knight reservoirs, continue to East Molesey, Weston Green Road and More Lane. Catch them on the hilly section as they cycle towards Cobham, and onto Portsmouth Road. They will then power through Kingston-upon-Thames, Richmond, Teddington and Strawberry Vale before reaching a triumphant finish at Hampton Court Palace.
- The women’s route is slightly different, missing out the reservoir and joining Hampton Court Way
- The ticketed start and finish line will be at Hampton Court Palace, but the rest of the route can be viewed for free
- Each cyclist will depart the palace at 90-second intervals
- The men will complete the 44km course, while the women’s course is a shorter 29km
- Download the men’s route map here
- Download the women’s route map here
Women’s marathon: 5 August, 11am - 2pm
Men’s marathon: 12 August, 11am – 2pm
Around 80 competitors will race for success at the Olympic Marathon that passes London landmarks including Buckingham Palace and St Paul’s Cathedral. Show your support for the runners as they race toward the finish line.
- This begins and ends at The Mall near Buckingham Palace, which is the ticketed area
- Catch the competitors as they run the eight mile looped course that starts with a 2.2 mile loop along the river, to Westminster Bridge, down Birdcage Walk, to the Queen Victoria Memorial and then back to The Mall. It then continues in a wider loop towards St Pauls Cathedral, Tower of London and back down Victoria Embankment.
- Thinking of making a day of it? Take a look at the official London 2012 events listings for further information on what’s going on in the area where you’ll be watching the marathon
- Download the marathon route map here
10km Marathon Swimming
Women’s 10km marathon swimming: 9 August, 12pm
Men’s 10km marathon swimming: 10 August, 12pm
This summer the Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park will host the Olympic 10km marathon swim. Competitors will complete six laps of the lake and as a spectator you’ll get the chance to see two hours of the world’s best race for the finish from the south side of the lake.
- Grab a great view at many of the non-ticketed areas on the south side of the lake
- You can spot two hours of the world’s best swimmers race for the finish
- For more information take a look at the official visitors page for London 2012
Women’s Triathlon: 4 August, 9am
Men’s Triathlon: 7 August, 11.30am
This is one of the free Olympic events where your family will be able to watch from London’s Hyde Park as competitors race in the gruelling triathlon including a 1,500m swim, 40K cycle ride and 10km run in the hope of winning that gold medal.
- Athletes will start in the water to begin with, completing a 1,500m lap of the Serpentine lake
- Catch them cycling 40km in a 6.137km loop of the lake and head to Hyde Park Corner, Constitution Hill, Buckingham Palace and back to the park. They’re loop this route seven times!
- For the final part of the triathlon the athletes will run 10km, covering four laps of a 2.5km course of the lake
- 90% of this course is free so get there early to find a good spot to cheer them on
- Get the route map here
We’ll be keeping this page updated so you can enjoy the London 2012 free Olympic events with your family!
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