25 Sep

Tracking App Extended For Royal Parks

Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon logo

More supporters than ever before will be able to follow runners at this year's Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon on their smart phones. The tracker app has been extended to the Android platform as well as being for iPhone users.

Organisers anticipate up to 10,000 spectators could download the app when it goes live on Monday 30 September. Users will be able to track an unlimited number of friends, family and celebrities for the event on Sunday 6 October.

The app was developed last year by Limelight Sports for the iPhone. Using radio frequency identification (RFID) technology rather than GPS and taking readings via seven tracker mats placed at regular intervals around the course, the app is one of the most accurate race trackers available.

It also contains an interactive map of the festival area and guide to activities at the Half Marathon Food & Fitness Festival, including the main stage bill of live music acts, food stalls and activity zone.

Following its launch last year, the app became the second most popular sports app on Apple's App Store with almost 7,000 apps being downloaded within a week. Spectators without an iPhone had the opportunity to use the web-based race tracker, which also proved popular, prompting the development of the Android app.

It has since been shortlisted in the Event Technology Awards two categories: Best Mobile App and Best Use of RFID and Wireless Technology.

Limelight's Head of Technology, Steve Dews, says he is pleased with how accurate the app has proved to be: "The fact that we have tracker mats at the start and the 1km, 5km and then every 5km along the route means that our app can track people and give predicted finishing times from very early on in the race.

"The app will also give you provisional results of the top 10 runners as well as the people you are tracking from as soon as the first person crosses the line. I tracked five people last year and each one finished within one minute of the app's predicted time."

16,000 runners are expected for the 2013 Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon which starts and finishes in Hyde Park.

The Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon, which is produced in partnership with Limelight Sports, is now in its sixth year. It is expected to raise a record amount for charity this year, with 313 charities taking part. Since it began in 2008, the race has raised more than £15million for 455 charities.