Sunday 23 September saw South Africa’s Stephen Mokoka make history when he won the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon in a new course record time of 2:08.31. The following around this feat was all over Social Media. While the sporting community was ecstatic about this performance, ardent followers of the race and Mokoka were not only celebrating his performance, but also the new APP used by the event to be able to track Mokoka’s, and other athletes, progress throughout the race.
The APP used is RTRT.ME, and allows supporters of athletes, be they elite or friends, family, or people of interest, to follow their progress throughout the race. This was possible through the introduction of 5km split timing in the race – another first in South Africa. All of this was introduced by FinishTime in association with SportsSplits South Africa – and it has certainly created waves.
“This is fantastic,” said SABC 2 host presenter, Vaylen Kirtley as the APP was explained to her in the media tent before the race. “I am following the race with the APP on two tools, my phone and tablet,” said TV commentator, Arnaud Malherbe. “The phone I will keep open to check Mokoka’s and other runners individual 5k splits, and the tablet I use to physically track some of the runners on the route. This is brilliant”.
The APP, once you’ve identified the runners whom you want to follow, also does GPS tracking on the route map, allowing you to follow the race in the virtual reality realm.
This has certainly taken race timing to a new level. Imagine you are covering a mountain bike race and you need to plan your journey from one point on the route to another to be able to watch all the action on the ground. The APP will allow you to do that. It is the way of the future in race timing.
Mokoka was the most tracked athlete, interested parties tracked him 187 times. Celebrities and other athletes were also tracked, such as Aiden Thomas (184), well known coach, Lindsey Parry (84) and WP favourite, Nolene Conrad (86).
And while that was incredible to follow at the front, this same service was provided to the entire field, 12 000 runners.