The 26.2-mile New York City Marathon is scheduled for November 4 with more than 50,000 runners expected to turn out. The race goes through all five boroughs and draws more than one million spectators every year.
While the race has changed over the years, this year's update is especially interesting with the new Tata Consultancy Service's (TCS) New York City Marathon app (iOS, Android). The app helps you keep track of all the day's festivities and the runners themselves.
With their data analytics platform, Ignio, TCS is testing the possibility to predict race winners.
"The tool is in its beta phase, so it may or may not be rolled out this year. The plan is that it will be used to supplement TV broadcast and use real-time predicted results for the race. The algorithm developed for the tool will predict the likely winner so friends and family can see where their runner ranks in the line-up," a representative of TCS told Download.com.
The app gives users access to a detailed map of the runner's course and real-time tracking. People can track the exact locations, elapsed running time, average pace, distance covered, and the expected finish time of up to 20 runners.
Information regarding the runners you're tracking includes their bio, bib number, how many races they've done, and predicted finish spot. TCS is also adding the Spectator Guide, a pre-race feature.
"This allows family and friends to choose points along the race route where they can see their runners pass by. The app will select an ideal location for onlookers to go and see their runners throughout the race. The tool takes into account the current location of the runner as well as the onlooker when planning. It will then give the app users directions to the spot," the representative said.
Users can make an itinerary by tapping mile markers on the course to see what's happening there.
You also can create a Cheer Card to support your favorite runner.
You can meet Pepper the Robot after the race in the TCS hospitality area. Pepper will scan the runner's bib and show their finish time. They can even take a selfie with the robot.
TCS is also rolling out an interactive video game called Marathon City--Sprint to the Finish. Two players can walk up to a screen and select one of seven playable characters. The players run in pace on controller mats to move their character forward and compete in a digital NYC Marathon.
"TCS wanted the video game experience to be as inclusive as the marathon, so they developed a wheelchair trainer controller that allows handicapped athletes to use their own chair as a controller and compete with anyone and everyone," the representative said.
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- The New York City Marathon is entering its 48th year and is making some big upgrades to its app.
- This year spectators can keep better track up to 20 of their favorite runners, create cheer cards for them, see a runner's predicted finishing time, and find the best places to watch the race with the app.
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