Boston Marathon App Lets You Run The Marathon

Run any distance you choose, from anywhere in the world.

Screenshot via the B.A.A.

Screenshot via the B.A.A.

The Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) launched a new program called the Boston Marathon World Run, a mobile app and website that lets runners from around the world connect with the 2014 Boston Marathon. In response to receiving an unprecedented number of applicants for this year’s race, B.A.A. officials knew that they had to do more to connect with the running communities all over the world. So, in partnership with John Hancock Financial, they created a virtual experience so that all runners, regardless of ability or geography, can run and “participate” in the event.

“We’ve seen a tremendous outpouring of support and a high-level of interest in participating this year,” says Tom Grilk, executive director of the B.A.A. “While we were able to increase our field size by 9,000 to 36,000 runners, we can only physically accommodate so many runners on the course and we were nowhere near meeting demand. Through technology, we wanted to create something that engendered that same sense of community and resiliency as the race itself, ensuring that no one would be denied the chance to have their own 2014 Boston Marathon experience. The app does just that.”

The app is called “Boston Marathon World Run” and its goal is to build a community of virtual runners and fans from all over the world who can participate, donate, post pictures and videos, and interact with one another in real time. App users can participate individually or in teams and will receive digital training, finisher badges, bib numbers, and even a finisher certificate. The hope is that participants achieve their self-determined running goals by the evening of the Marathon (April 21st). 

The app also encourages participants to contribute to One Fund Boston through distance pledging and online donations. 

Here’s how it works:

  • All participants will be able to begin a group or join an existing group and invite their contacts to participate.
  • All runners will be able to pledge a distance, in miles or kilometers, and may update that pledge as they progress.
  • Global Ambassadors, including past Boston Marathon champions and current Boston Marathon elite athletes, will also be logging miles and uploading photos and videos.
  • The number of registrants, the total miles or kilometers pledged, and the funds raised through World Run for One Fund Boston will be updated in real time.
  • Participants will be able to share their experience with the community by uploading photos and videos. An interactive map will display participants’ content to show community activity in real time.

The free app is available for Apple and Android devices and integrates with social media networks to create a “virtual running community.” It’s also available in website form at