Going that extra 26.2 miles
I'm Michael Cole and I'm the editor of live athletics.
The Great North Run normally signals the end of a pretty sustained period of athletics coverage on BBC TV, but following Paula Radcliffe's decision to take part in the New York Marathon we have an addition to our usual schedule. We'll be showing live coverage of both the men's and women's races on BBC TWO on Sunday 4 November.
By and large the plans for what is covered on TV are made well in advance. Long term rights contracts, negotiations with BBC ONE and TWO for airtime as well as the relatively high cost of delivering TV coverage mean that, on the whole, TV does not react with the same speed and news agenda as BBC radio sport or the BBC Sport website.
But fortunately we were able to look down the back of the sofa to find a bit of cash, do a deal with the race organisers and find some room in the BBC TWO schedule, so now the planning begins. The timing of the New York Marathon works really well for us as, with the time difference, the race actually happens in our afternoon which seems like pretty much the ideal slot.
On the Great North Run or London Marathon the BBC is responsible for providing all the pictures and as a result that gives us the opportunity to follow whichever race is more interesting at a particular time. Normally on an overseas road race we're in the hands of the host broadcaster and have to take what we are given on the World feed. There just wouldn't be room for both BBC and US television to have their own motorbikes following the race, and even if there was, the cost of producing our own dedicated coverage of a marathon would be prohibitive.
So for New York we'll go for a middle ground. We hope to have a position in the back of the outside broadcast van that makes the US TV coverage and access to the individual feeds from their motorbikes and helicopters. While the BBC producer, Helen Kuttner, won't be able to actually direct the cameras she cuts to, hopefully the American camera crew will think of their colonial cousins and we can make the BBC programme reflect a little more on the women's race than the World feed.
What we are not sure about is how much coverage the US TV crew will offer of other British runners taking part. One of our other major hopes for Beijing, Paralympian Shelly Woods, is taking part in the wheelchair race, so hopefully we'll be able to give some coverage of her too.
Hazel Irvine will also be out in New York to speak to Paula before and after the race and back in London, Sue Barker will present the show with Brendan Foster and Steve Cram adding their expert insight and commentary.