Boston Marathon Apps Enables Fans to Track Favorites During Race


April 15 is often a day of dread for many as income taxes can no longer be put off , yet there is an event that will draw at least half a million people that will be cheered by the events of the day, the annual Boston Marathon.

While you may not be able to get to Bean Town to watch the 117th running of the event there is now an app available from AT&T and the Boston Athletic Association that runs the event that will enable you to track the runners and their times during the race.

Marathon apps are nothing new; the New York Marathon has had one available for several years and there are any number of running apps that allow you to post your route and time in real time, but this is still a good way for those who are interested in tracking the times from the event.

However the app and other related programs from AT&T are part of a larger weekend event that the company is using to offer free service to runners, friends and family attending Marathon Weekend.

The marathon app enables users to select up to 10 runners that are participating in any of the races that day and it will provide updates from the 10K point, the halfway point of 13.1 miles at Wellesley Center, the 30K point and the finish line.

For the true athletes that are actually racing there is the Athlete Alert Program that permits runners to automatically update their progress along the course. Runners register prior to the race and as they pass specific points automatic messages are sent out to e-mail addresses, smartphones and other devices.

Other features from the weekend include free commemorative photos at the finish line for both runners and fans and the network will provide free calling centers for race finishers to contact friends via phone or text.

Marathon Monday: Where to Watch the Boston Marathon Online

In case you’re at your desk Monday doing a virtual marathon of meetings and emails instead of running 26.2 miles, you can share the agony and ecstasy by running your browser over to the Universal Sports website, where the Boston Marathon will be shown live for free.

According to a couple other stories we have read the race may also be shown online via a link at the Boston Athletic Association’s site as well as at the local CBS outlet if you are in the Boston area. Take your pick. You can also watch live on TV. The race starts around 9 a.m. Eastern time for the mobility impaired participants, followed by the different flavors of wheelchairs at 9:17 and 9:22, elite women at 9:32 and elite men at 10 a.m.

One interesting side note is that the race is trying to convince people they may not want to run, since temperatures are expected to be “wicked hot” as they say in Boston at race time. But my guess is that anyone who’s gone through the trouble to qualify for Boston is going to run Boston. So maybe you walk a mile or two. Just don’t overheat, runners.