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TCS develops Virgin Money Marathon app

Source: TCS

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) (BSE: 532540, NSE: TCS), a leading global IT services, consulting, and business solutions organisation, announced that the official 2021 Virgin Money London Marathon app designed and built by TCS, is now available to download from the iOS App Store and Google Play Store.

This year’s event will be the first London Marathon to include more than 40,000 participants expected on the historic London course and an additional 40,000 taking part virtually from across the world via the app. This revolutionary approach to mass participation events means this year’s event is set to be the biggest, and most inclusive, marathon in history.

Spectators at the mass event in London can use the app to:
• Track an unlimited number of participants, so they can follow all their friends, family and even celebrities and elite athletes on the interactive course map.
• Receive live updates every five kilometers, to get to the best viewing points throughout the event.
• Donate directly to participants’ Virgin Money Giving fundraising page

For those participating in the virtual event, the app offers the following features:
• Enables them to earn their medal, digital certificate, and the chance to share an official finish-line selfie with their event stats.
• Brings the virtual experience to life, with an exclusive audio commentary featuring famous voices, providing a memorable soundtrack to the day. The sound of a cheering crowd will be triggered at half mile intervals to motivate participants to cross the virtual finishing line.
New for this year:
• Participants can name two supporters who will be able to see their live location, and all supporters will be able to see their progress mapped on the London course.
• Virtual participants have a chance to try the app before starting their event, for a 5 km practice run.

Last year, while elite athletes raced around a loop course in St James’s Park, all other participants took part virtually. London Marathon Events won the UK Sport Industry award for (Virtual) Event of the Year for this first virtual London Marathon which saw people around the globe take on the 26.2 miles on a course of their choice between 00:00 - 23:59:59 BST, using the Virgin Money London Marathon App powered by TCS, to register their time. 37,966 people finished the event, setting a new Guinness World Record for the most users to run a remote marathon in a 24-hour period.

Following this year’s event, TCS will take over the title partnership with a new six-year partnership covering the 2022 to 2027 London Marathons, as announced in June. A key part of TCS’ new role will be to use technology to further enhance the marathon experience, promote a healthy lifestyle and amplify one of the founding pillars of the London Marathon: 'To show the family of mankind can be united'.

“We are excited to get back to the in-person event because nothing comes close to the energy and exhilaration of tens of thousands of runners and spectators coming together as a community. That said, a combined approach will be the way forward for global marathons because it democratizes access, enabling people from across the world to participate in iconic events like the London Marathon no matter what their location or circumstance,” said Amit Kapur, Head, TCS UK & Ireland. “In the latest edition of the marathon app, we have tried to further enhance the experience for runners as well as spectators in both forms of participation.”

Hugh Brasher, Event Director of London Marathon Events, said: “The app is a vital part of this year’s inaugural combined event experience. Our campaign this year is We Run Together and the app enables participants to connect whether they are in London or anywhere across the globe. We have had a great experience with TCS, which has provided the technology for the official app for the last five years, and we’re looking forward to their new role as title partner in 2022 and beyond. Having a technology company as the headline sponsor in the future means we’ll benefit from the latest technology and allows us to grow our digital reach. This means we can inspire millions more to become active, as well as raise more for charities.”

TCS has been the technology partner of the London Marathon since 2016 and developed the official event app, which provides participants and spectators with the fullest experience. Over these last five years, the marathon app has been progressively enriched with newer features and functionality, including support for the first ever virtual marathon in 2020. The app has steadily grown in popularity, setting a world record in number of downloads in 2019.

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