London Marathon: Athletes to wear social-distancing tech

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  • Coronavirus pandemic

Athletes training together within the grounds of the biosecure bubble where the marathon will take place

image copyrightBob Martin for London Marathon Events/PA Wire

image captionThe elite runners spend race week in a bio-secure bubble, at a hotel in St James’s Park

Staff and athletes in Sunday’s London Marathon must wear social-distancing technology around their necks.

The Bump device, which makes an audible alert when the wearer is too close to others, will be worn by the 100 elite competitors and 500 event coordinators.

The race, 19 laps of a closed course in St James’s Park, screened from public view, is the first major marathon since the Covid-19 pandemic, organisers say.

Non-elite runners can participate in

a 24-hour virtual version of the event.

image copyrightTharsus

image captionThe Bump device is worn around the neck

Designed by UK company Tharsus, the Bump uses radio-frequency technology, allowing organisers to track when athletes and staff are within a defined distance of one another.

And if one tests positive for coronavirus in the subsequent two weeks, those who have been in close proximity will be notified.

“This weekend’s event is the culmination of months of planning around how to deliver a socially distanced 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon that is safe for all participants and stakeholders,” director Hugh Brasher said.

“This technology has played an important role, giving our athletes and internal teams extra confidence to engage with the event safely.”

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