2021 TCS New York City Marathon App Lets Fans Enjoy a Hybrid Race Experience

Tata Consultancy Services’ Award-Winning App Now Lets Fans Track Both Virtual and In-Person Runners

Tata Consultancy Services , a leading global IT services, consulting and business solutions organization and title sponsor of the TCS New York City Marathon, and New York Road Runners (NYRR), the world’s premier community running organization, launched the official 2021 TCS New York City Marathon app. For the first time, the new version of the app allows fans to simultaneously track runners on the racecourse as well as those who are competing virtually from anywhere in the world.

The 50th running of the TCS New York City Marathon will take place on November 7 and the Virtual Marathon from October 23 to November 7.

The 2021 TCS New York City Marathon App is a true hybrid platform that enables in-person and virtual runners, along with their supporters and spectators, to share in the marathon experience. Virtual runners will appear on the marathon course map in red and in-person runners will be in blue. Elapsed time and pace will be available for all runners, every 5K of their respective races. In addition, a new Marathon City: 3D Map feature uses Augmented Reality (AR) technology to allow everyone to experience the marathon course map as never before.

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Virtual runners can share their GPS location with two spectators, so they can be tracked wherever in the world they are running the marathon. All other spectators tracking virtual runners will see their location that corresponds with the distance they have covered on the TCS New York City Marathon racecourse. For example, virtual runners between miles 16 and 18 will appear to be running up First Avenue in the app.

The location and estimated finishing time of in-person runners will be calculated based on performance of training runs and past marathons. This enhanced tracking capability will create the most accurate opportunities for spectators to catch runners live on the course.

“As we return to the iconic TCS New York City Marathon racecourse across the city’s five boroughs, we are witnessing the race experience transform like never before,” said Surya Kant, Chairman of North America, TCS. “Our 2021 Marathon App is filled with innovations that will help make this year’s event a truly global experience, bringing both in-person participants as well as virtual runners across the world together on one platform.”

“Together with our title partner TCS, we are looking forward to making the 50th running of the TCS New York City Marathon the most technologically advanced marathon in history,” said Christine Burke, Senior Vice President, Strategic Partnerships and Runner Products, NYRR. “This will be a historic year for the event in so many ways, and as we embark on another eight years with TCS, there’s no better way to have them engage with our runners than through their most innovative marathon app ever.”

The TCS New York City Marathon app features additional enhancements to create a more immersive experience for virtual runners.

  • At numerous dedicated mile markers in the virtual marathon, the app will automatically play audio files with words of encouragement from past marathoners and iconic sounds from the in-person race. For example, all virtual marathon runners will begin their race with the sound of a cannon going off, simulating a similar experience to what in-person runners hear as their waves begin just south of the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge.
  • The app will also allow virtual runners to do an unlimited number of 5K “Practice Runs” prior to their marathon journey to ensure they are comfortable using the app on race day. On race day, virtual runners can restart or pause an unlimited number of times but have 24 hours to complete the 26.2-mile race.
  • At the finish line, virtual runners will have access to a digital certificate and a selfie filter with an AR medal that can be shared on social media to celebrate their accomplishment.

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Marathon City: 3D Map Details

Runners, spectators and fans can explore the TCS New York City Marathon course map in AR through the Marathon City: 3D Map, including:

  • Points of interest along and around the racecourse
  • Race day starting times for various groups
  • Elevation changes along the course
  • Interactive map showing the Start Village in Staten Island

This new AR experience was created by TCS in a stylized “low-poly” design similar to Marathon City: Sprint to Win and Marathon City: Spin to Win, two inclusive gaming experiences that mimic racing the last 100 meters of the TCS New York City Marathon racecourse through Central Park.

Other Key Features

  • Share Tracking: This feature on the Runner Details page allows users to share a link that initiates an automatic app download with a specific runner already selected to be tracked during the race.
  • Optimized Spectator Guides: The app’s spectator guide helps fans create an itinerary to navigate New York City, so they’re able to see runners on the course. The shareable guide provides a runner’s estimated times of arrival, along with transportation directions and recommended viewing locations along the course.
  • Cheer Cards: Allows fans to support runners using the app to share messages on social media.
  • Live Pro Athlete Leader Board and Bios: Closely track the race day leaders in real time, as well as have access to bios, records and images of professional athletes running the race.

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