Panasonic Corp. is giving Olympics fans a new way to experience the host city, by virtually running a marathon course tied to the London 2012 Olympic Games and socially sharing the experience.

The free Run@London site lets users create an avatar to run the route on their behalf. It’s not the official marathon route, but this one starts and ends in front of Buckingham Palace, going past Trafalgar Square, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Tower Bridge, Big Ben and many others of the city’s most recognizable sights on the way.

Each popular location can be explored in a 360-degree view captured using Panasonic’s VR shooting method. Users also can take photos at these London venues from any angle they wish, just as though they were standing in the actual place, and share these virtual memories throughout their social networks.

For unintentional fun, looking around the beautifully photographed route reveals hundreds of advertisements, product names and other signs of brands that official Olympics sponsor Panasonic has fuzzed out as not being sanctioned by the International Olympics Committee.

Run@London is provided in Japanese, English, Spanish, Portuguese and German. The site’s music is “Oslo” by Japanese band the Nokies.

Related link:

Panasonic – Run@London