The Sure Guernsey Marathon 2023 is set to be the most technologically enabled marathon the island has ever seen, thanks to the supply of new equipment and connectivity from lead sponsor Sure.
Runners in this year’s marathon will benefit from technology that improves the accuracy of their race times. A Race Result timing decoder uses mats on the road to detect chips in the runners’ bibs, and then uploads the runners’ places to an online portal. Mats will be at the start, halfway mark, South Esplanade and the finish line.
4G SIM cards are in these timing devices which connect to Sure’s high-speed mobile network, offering a system that is more exact than ‘by eye’ methods. Sure is also providing a Seiko large-scale race clock which is more accurate than the current method of looking at a stopwatch when a runner comes over the line, and allows for faster time uploads.
For the first time, the race will have a lead vehicle, supported by Sure, with a Go Pro mounted on the back for online spectator entertainment, allowing people to follow the lead runners on the Guernsey Marathon website. Once the lead runners finish, the GoPro will be positioned to show all the other runners crossing the finish line. This will bring the experience of watching the Guernsey Marathon online to people for the first time.
Sure is also providing MiFi units which are portable wireless hotspots that connect to Sure’s mobile network, connecting up to 10 mobile, tablet or laptop devices each. These allow the runners to be monitored when they have passed checkpoints and track their live location. This will improve spectator entertainment, as the commentators in the PA cabin can see where the runners are with live timings, and who is in the lead or who has beaten personal best times, helping spectators at the Marathon Village experience the race thrills from around the course.
These MiFi units also ensure a safer race as the marathon organisers in the command centre will use the units to coordinate with the marshals around the course as well as with civil protection and the police if there is a need for medical personnel or for traffic management.
2023 Sure Guernsey Marathon Race Director, Michael Quittenden said: “Running a marathon is a great challenge for runners of all abilities and this year we wanted to give participants the most immersive experience possible. Sure’s support has enhanced the technology we use, which improves accuracy and safety and makes for a better all-round experience for the runners. The 2023 edition is going to be the most-connected ever and we’re already looking forward to it.”
Justin Bellinger, chief executive of Sure in Guernsey, said: “Sure is committed to supporting local sport and our team’s technical know-how, as well as the strength of our networks, means that we can invest to improve these events for everyone who takes part. Sport plays such an important role in connecting people and this year’s Sure Guernsey Marathon is going to be more accessible for spectators, more accurate for participants and easier for the organisers to manage.”
Sure supports many local sports teams as part of its commitment to backing local sport, spanning running, hockey, swimming events, rugby, football, touch rugby, and cycling. Sponsorships include the Sure Guernsey Marathon, being the Island Games technology partner, Sure Academy (in partnership with Ian Brown’s Cycle Shop) and the Sure Scorpions touch rugby team.