The Latest and Greatest in Marathon Technology

“One thing is certain, though, as the number of races in America grows, existing races must find ways to remain competitive in the marketplace. Technology is one method to accomplish that…” The Huffington Post

Organizing a successful marathon means using the best available technology. Just like every other industry, the endurance event industry must keep up with the changing market and societal expectations. Right now, the world is focused on anything and everything that is “tech”, and for good reason. Technological innovation in marathons helps athletes and participants better their results and their experiences.

A marathon must have a good timing system, great race photography and lots of enthusiasm in order to succeed. Marathons that go above and beyond the standard level of innovation will also have mobile apps, photos that show performance data, and they will incorporate video advertisement or recording.

Mobile Apps

Mobile apps offer runners just another reason to participate in an event. Not only does it demonstrate a higher level of tech acuity, but it also really contributes to a better overall experience.

• The Rock n Roll Marathon series, one of the largest and most successful marathon series in the United States, offers a mobile app that provides real time runner tracking and photo sharing.

• The Toyko Marathon has created two apps: one that gives runner step by step directions for race day and another that assists runners in preparing and recovering from the race.

• The Boston Marathon is introducing a new app for 2016. Powered by AT&T, this app allows its users to track runners as they make their way through the four markers of the marathon.

• The Standard Charter Marathon Singapore is offering it’s 2016 participants a 16 week customizable fitness plan app that also includes running data from the race that is searchable by the runner’s name and/or bib number.

• The Rio De Janeiro Marathon has formed a partnership with Spotify, which is aimed at increasing pre-event participant engagement, featuring a special playlist created by the event organizers.

• The Virgin Money London Marathon, together with RunSocial, has created the “world’s first digital marathon.” Their virtual reality app offers runners the ability to have a unique interactive 3D experience running as an avatar through the course of the real VMLM.

Innovative Race Photography

Race photography is a nonnegotiable. Standard photography, however, is getting old. Now marathon organizers are employing more innovative way of capturing snapshots of the event, and offering free (sponsored) race photos to participants.

• The Tel Aviv Samsung Marathon this February, which expects over 35,000 participants, will be using Pic2Go’s automated race photo-tagging and same-day social sharing services, while using for the first time Pic2Go's multi-branding capability - having personalized Samsung's photo-branding to different individuals participating in the event.

• The Vodafone Malta Marathon will be using Pic2Go’s instant photo-tagging technology at their upcoming event on February 28th. For the first time, the Malta Marathon will be using Pic2Go’s new Performance Photos platform, in which photos are tagged with a runner’s performance data.
Pic2Go Performance Photos - Malta Marathon


Marathon campaign videos are everywhere. Live race broadcasting is here. Youtube is a marathon’s new best friend. When it comes to videography and endurance events, it is not necessarily about the newest technology but rather, how organizers are taking classic technology in a more innovative direction.

• The Sparkasse Marathon der 3 Lander will be having live webcams streaming their 2016 races.

• The Australian Outback Marathon, the BMW Berlin Marathon and the Great Wall Marathon are only a few of the largest international marathons that feature campaign videos on their websites showing highlights from previous events.

• The TCS New York Marathon has developed a series of informative videos, which they are calling “runforgraphics”, that are meant to aid runners in getting the most of their marathon experience.

• The Diacore Gaborone Marathon is using idomoo personalized videos to send confirmation of registration to their runners.

Innovative technology is now a benchmark of the endurance event industry. Enhancing and documenting the runners’ journeys is vital to any great marathon.

Written by Sarah Marlowe - Marketing and Sponsorship Advisor at Pic2Go

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