In the third year of Tata Consultancy Services’ title sponsorship of the TCS New York City Marathon, the innovations keep on coming. This year, as we take a look back at the rich history of the New York City Marathon in celebration of the 40th running of the five boroughs, we’re also seeing technology help runners and fans experience the race like never before.
Look into the future with augmented and virtual reality
Those who visit the TCS New York City Marathon Pavilion or the TCS New York City Marathon Health and Wellness Expo will get a sneak peek of the race through the magic of augmented and virtual reality.
An oversized course map outfitted with tablets serves as a TCS New York City Marathon storytelling platform, allowing runners and fans to experience course elevation changes, mile markers, fluid stations, and points of interest along the iconic five-borough course. Meanwhile, an immersive virtual reality experience will use mobile-enabled headsets and surround-sound headphones to make visitors feel like they are standing at the start line, Queensboro Bridge, or the Central Park finish line cheering for runners as they zoom by. If nothing can match the experience of actually being at the race, this is really close!
Predict your finish time with precision
Another awesome tech offering available at the Expo: Race Predictor. Powered by TCS, this handy tool asks runners 10 training-related questions in order to predict their finish time, complete with mile splits. The system uses historical data from the course to make its predictions, so the projected finish times are specific to the race as well as the individual runner.
Deep-dive into runner data
During the race itself, TCS and NYRR will outfit several participants—including professional runners and wheelchair athletes—with biometric sensors to track their performance in real time. These Performance Metrics will be charted in the live TV broadcast as the race unfolds, allowing fans to see how cruising 26.2 miles affects cadence, body temperature, heart rate, breathing rate, and more. This extra layer of info takes spectating to a whole new level.
Get the app
The updated TCS New York City Marathon App Powered by Tata Consultancy Services now features live, on-map tracking of up to 20 runners with splits at the start, every 5K, half, and finish—in addition to all of the resources that runners and spectators need to make for a successful November 6.
Discover Smile Markers
The app is also the best way to interact with the Smile Markers. New for 2016 and launched in mid-October, Smile Markers are map-pin-shaped markers that will appear on bus shelters, sidewalks, billboards, and bike shares in 27 spots along or near the TCS New York City Marathon course. They highlight noteworthy facts and elements of the TCS New York City Marathon and can be “unlocked” as part of a mobile game. Participants access a unique digital experience at each location and collect rewards, including tickets to race-week events and special discounts from PowerBar, Fitbit, Gatorade Endurance, and more.
Engage with Runfograhpics
TCS Runfographics—informative illustrations that help you get to know the race better—are back again this year. What size running shoe would the Statue of Liberty wear? How many hot dog carts would it take to line the TCS New York City Marathon course? Runfographics make finding the answers easy and fun.
Thanks to all of the engaging, imaginative, and easy-to-use technology on tap, the TCS New York City Marathon isn’t just the world’s biggest marathon—it’s also the most technologically advanced.
By Kenneth Partridge