An 'oil on canvas' painting by Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes from 1788. Saw this at the Legion of Honor museum in San Francisco, California. It's a bit difficult to see, but, in the bottom left of the painting, there are a few runners presumably finishing the marathon. No timing mats, finish line tapes, TVs, etc. Barely a handful of spectators too.
What does 2012 have in store for us? Is Usain Bolt going to set the London Olympics ablaze with a new WR or two? Will Haile Gebreselassie or Paula Radcliffe win Olympic gold and announce their retirement? Will yet another Kenyan bring down the marathon WR yet again? Will we see a sub-2:03 marathon?
Another 364 365 days to go (since this is a leap year) and we'll know the answers. Hang in there for the long run.