With nearly 20,000 participants registered for this weekend's Savannah installment of the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon, it's safe to say that this is kind of a big deal. It's also safe to say that finding a particular runner at the finish line is no easy task. Luckily, technology can make that task a little easier. That's our focus today on WSAV Tech Tuesday.
Progress Updates Via Text Message
CompetitorWireless.com allows you to signup to receive updates on specific runners via text message. The best thing about this service is that you don't need a smartphone to use it. It works with most text message enabled phones.
The technology behind this service is actually pretty simple. Every runner has the option to attach a small chip to their shoe; these are issued along with their race bib. At various points throughout the race course, runners will cross digital checkpoints that will automatically relay their location back to the computers at Competitor Wireless. Then those computers will send you a text message telling you what mile marker your runner has just passed.
Per text message costs will vary based on your carrier and your specific rate plan. Competitor Wireless only charges spectators a flat $2 fee to track the first runner and $1 for each additional runner. As an alternative, runners can signup to be tracked and can allow 5 people to track them for only $5.
Free Options for Tracking
If, as a runner, you use the RunKeeper smartphone app (which is available for iOS and Android) you can setup automatic sharing to Twitter and Facebook at various distance intervals. Also, assuming that the runner is running with an iPhone, iPhone and iPad users can use Apple's Find My Friends app to monitor their friends' progress.