Boston Marathon Releases First-Ever App For Race Day

Spectators can track runners, find marathon-related events, and peruse the course via iPhone or Android.

Navigating through the crowds of marathon revelers and trying to figure out how well your friends may have done during race day is going to be a whole lot easier for the the 2013 Boston Marathon.

For the first time, the Boston Athletic Association has put together a Boston Marathon app for iPhone and Android users that helps both runners and spectators “maximize their handheld Patriots’ Day experience,” according to BAA officials.

Those watching from the sidelines as runners hit the pavement can tap into the smartphone app and track exactly where participants are along the route by selecting certain checkpoints, such as the 10K, halfway, 30K mark and finish line. “Spectators will also be able to search for runners by bib number or by name, view a real-time race leader board, and search for results after the race,” according to a description on iTunes, where the BAAMarathon app can be downloaded for free.

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Marc Davis, spokesman from the BAA, says the organization worked extensively with partners at AT&T to expand on their text-only athlete alert system they used in the past. “We are an old-school organization so to speak, so modern technology is something we spent a long time getting into, and this is a next solid step to bringing the marathon into a modern exposure-style world.”

Since most people tend to find a spot along the race route and stay put for a majority event, Davis says the smartphone app gives those on the sidelines an opportunity to take a virtual tour of the stretch of roadway, which winds from Hopkinton to Boston.

Using the functions within the application, users can also access official photos and videos on the BAA’s YouTube channel and photostream page. “[Users can] also learn about the world-class athletes in the John Hancock Elite Athlete Program, and peruse the rich history of the Boston Marathon for past champions, course records, and race synopses from 117 years of Boston Marathon history,” according to the apps description.

Davis says the app is not only helpful on race day, but it is also a useful tool for those coming into Boston for the entire weekend who may be searching for things to do and places to go. “People want to know where there is a great coffee shop, what the hours of the expo are, and who the elite athletes are. It’s an all around experience that we want to present to them,” he says. “[This app] is about making the entire marathon weekend a true experience.”