Wow. What a wonderful, dizzying past two weeks it’s been as many of the world’s greatest athletes competed in the London 2012 Olympics. The running events were especially exciting to watch (online or live for the lucky spectators); from the sprints to the middle and long-distance, the races were epic and inspirational.

Who can ever forget Mo “Chariots of Farah’s” gutsy final-lap sprint in the 5,000 meters to secure himself another gold medal after winning the  1o,000 meters the previous week. And way to go Galen Rupp! First U.S. medalist in the 10,000 meters since Billy Mills took home gold in 1964.

The wily, seasoned vet Meb K, 37, reeled in the field in the men’s marathon to finish fourth, proof that endurance and speed are not just for youngsters.

Greatness was agnostic at the Olympics, transcending nationalities and gender. We also saw prosthetics (South Africa) and politics (Saudi Arabia) finally enter the mix.

And wouldn’t it be great to someday see co-ed relays at the Olympics? Imagine the excitement of the 4×100 meter race with say U.S. sprinters of the caliber of Carmelita Jeter, Allyson Felix, Justin Gatlin, and Ryan Bailey?

Many young runners will have watched this year’s Olympics and be more determined than ever to train hard and attempt to make the Rio Games in 2016 or in 2020 where the host city will be either Istanbul, Tokyo, or Madrid.

The Olympic flame might have been snuffed in London, but the competitive fire still burns inside many athletes, including those who watched from afar. We have plenty of Olympic memories to replay in our heads during our workouts or races.

So as a Natural Running Center encore to the previous fortnight of unparalleled athleticism, let’s close with the following photos. — Bill Katovsky

Even the London taxi cabs got into the spirit of the Games. Photo: Newsweek/Daily Beast

Usain Bolt en route to a relaxed win in the 200-meters semi-final heat. Photo: Newsweek/Daily Beast

When heel-striking is a must..not in running but during racewalking (disqualification occurs when both both feet leave the ground at the same time in racewalking). Here, Jared Tallent of Austalia, took silver in 3:35.39 in the 50K racewalking Olympic event, averaging just over 7 minutes per mile. Photo: Newsweek/Daily Beast

"I just wanna rest..." Erin Densha, of Australia, won bronze in the women's triathlon. Photo: Newsweek/Daily Beast

American sprinter Jason Richardson literally flew to the finish to take silver in the 100-meter hurdles. Photo: New York Times

American sprinters Tianna Madison, Allyson Felix, Bianca Knight and Carmelita Jeter celebrate their gold medal win following the women's 4x100-meter relay final which set a world record. Photo: Matt Slocum/AP

Women's marathon saw strong performances. Photo: New York Times

Feet first for the frontrunners: For awhile anyway, the two Kiprotiches and one Kirui, ran together during the second half of the men's marathon.

Assured of a gold medal in the decathlon, Ashton Easton, of the U.S., cruised through the 1,500 meters, the final event, in 4:33, nearly a minute slower than the winning time in the stand-alone 1,500 meters final set by Taoufik Makhloufi of Algeria. Photo: Getty Images