US Fleet Tracking typically works with any mobile workforce that you can imagine, from flower delivery to long-haul trucking.
The GPS tracking manufacturer is expanding its capabilities with this year’s Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon on April 27 by offering all participants the chance to run with a tracking device.
“The Oklahoma City Marathon is something we’ve always supported along with other fitness events like it,” said US Fleet Tracking founder and CEO Jerry Hunter. “There are all kinds of different applications for it, but because it’s live, you can get on the web and see it as it moves. For the marathon, it’ll be up to date every 10 seconds. At this point it’s also for children, a spouse, parents and people like that just wanting to know how someone is doing. Also, being able to go back and look at your own performance has value with this.”
The trackers can be rented for $25 when participants register for the marathon at okcmarathon.com. Included with the tracker is a belt that holds the device and is free of charge.
“As we know of, our marathon seems to be the only one where anyone can be able to get a tracker like this,” said Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon running liaison Mark Bravo. “We may approach somewhere around 100 people who chose to use it this year. But it’s kind of unprecedented in the manner we offer it.”
The trackers are quite the advancement from similar technology typically used in marathons. For instance, pads on the course and tracking chips worn around the ankle or on the shoes have been used to show when a runner has crossed a certain point in the event. However, these pads are typically spaced out about every six miles.
“Our trackers are very well received because now you can see where someone is every 10 seconds, as opposed to where someone is within a six-mile area,” Hunter said. “A runner can also go back and see how fast they were moving at every step along the way. It will allow you to see if you slowed down, accelerated, or caught your second wind at certain points in the race. So it’s helpful for a runner to help analyze their own performance.”
US Fleet Tracking Director of Public Relations and Marketing Sam Sims wore one of the trackers while running the half marathon last year.
“I completely forgot I was wearing it,” Sims said. “It was very convenient. The live factor of it allowed my family to move across the course and cheer me one as I was competing.”
The trackers also provide a major benefit to marathon relay teams.
“Along with myself running with it as sort of a test last year, we also had two relay teams running with it,” Sims said. “In any marathon, it can get a little chaotic for a relay team during the transition to the next runner. But last year, (the trackers) allowed teammates to know exactly where one another were at all times.
“There are just really a lot of benefits with it for several different areas of the marathon.”