Digital tracker: how to follow friends in the London Marathon #ReasonToRun.

This weekend, it’s the London Marathon. As you’d expect from the world’s most famous 26-mile race, it has a whizzy website – and hashtag - to boot. Whether you're a runner or spectator, the Virgin Money London Marathon site is packed full of useful information, so that every mile of the 26 miles and 385 yards race is covered. This year the race takes place on Sunday, 23rd April.

This year, all runners are encouraged to share their story on social media using #ReasonToRun so they can tell the world why they’re running. ‘We know every single runner has a unique #ReasonToRun the world’s greatest marathon,’ says Hugh Brasher, Event Director. ‘Whether it’s to set a PB, to raise money for a cause, to remember a loved one, to break a Guinness World Record, to win, to remain an Ever Present, to qualify for Great Britain or just because it’s always been a dream to run the London Marathon – the reasons are endless and we would love to hear them.’

Since the first race in 1981, the race has grown in size, stature and popularity, establishing itself as one of the major events in the sporting calendar. The London Marathon is shown on television in more that 150 countries around the world. The site includes a potted history of the event, along with up to date information of stars and celebrities taking part, along with facts and figures about past races.

For the first time ever, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry will attend the London Marathon together to support runners taking part for their mental health campaign, Heads Together, which is this year’s Charity of the Year for the Marathon. Their Royal Highnesses will cheer on all runners at points along the route and hope to get the country talking about mental health. Prince Harry said, ‘We know that many of you will be running for some incredible charities because yo have been directly affected by life-changing issues. You’ll recognise the emotional impact these can have, and how talking about it openly can help. We all have mental health, just as we all have physical health. Whatever cause you are running for, wear your vest with pride, and please wear your Heads Together headband too. Together we’ll get the whole country talking about mental health. Good luck and see you at the Finish Line.’


DIGITAL SPECTATOR GUIDE FOR MOBILE DEVICES

The official Virgin Money London Marathon app provides a live tracking system on race day so you can follow the steps of your runner. The interactive maps allow spectators to track progress of the race and find good spots to watch friends and family or the elite athletes. It receives information from a GPS chip given to each runner before the race starts. The app will update automatically when your runner crosses the Start Line and at every subsequent timing point at 5 km intervals. It will also predict where your runner will be on the London Marathon course based on their pace so that you can get to the right viewing spot. Runners are searchable by surname or running number.


FOR RUNNERS

Download a map of the Marathon course and the three coloured start zones. Take a note of the drinks stations – they will be every mile from miles 3 to 25. The site offers transport advice and can help you plan your journey.

For those pounding the pavements and clocking up the miles for the London Marathon, we wish you the very best of luck, and remain in awe of you.

April 2017