Each year, thousands of elite and amateur runners compete in the London Marathon. Last year, 42,000 people completed the 26.2-mile course that spans across the British capital, with thousands of people lining the streets to lend their support.
The marathon is an opportunity to achieve personal goals and raise millions of dollars for charitable causes.
But running a mass participation event in the era of Coronavirus is impossible and marathons across the globe have been canceled or postponed, much to the disappointment of those who had spent months training and fundraising for their big day in the limelight.
London hopes things will return to normal for the 2021 event but in the meantime, the 40th staging of the event will take place in a secure bubble in St James Park. Just 100 elite athletes will compete in the men’s, women’s and wheelchair races, while 500 members of staff will be on hand to ensure everything runs smoothly.
It’s not business as usual, but London will be the only major marathon taking place anywhere in the world this year.
Naturally, the bubble will be subject to strict social distancing and safety measures to safeguard everyone within. But just to make sure, everyone will be fitted with wearable technology that hopes to minimize the risk of infection.
Organizers have partnered with Tharsus to implement the ‘Bump’ system which alerts users if they are getting close to anyone else in the secure area. Wearable devices use Radio Frequency (RF) technologies to determine proximity to one another and notify the wearer if their distance is not sufficient.
What’s more, the system can identify individual users, meaning it will be possible to inform anyone who has come into close contact with someone who is later diagnosed with Covid-19.