December 2016

Smart running

Technology inputs from TCS heighten the fun and excitement of participation for the 51,000 plus runners and fans of the prestigious TCS New York City Marathon

Just before nine in the morning on Sunday, November 6, 2016, thousands of athletes started their day on the right foot by competing in the largest marathon in the world. Marking its third year as the title sponsor of the TCS New York City Marathon, TCS hosted more than 51,000 runners from 120 nations for the 40th running of this prestigious event.

  • The opening ceremony of the TCS New York City Marathon 2016
  • More than 51,000 runners from 120 nations participated in the 40th edition of the TCS New York City Marathon
  • More than 700 Team TCS runners participated in the TCS New York City Marathon 2016 and many more employees volunteered to make the event a success
  • Mary Keitany of Kenya wins the female division of the TCS New York City Marathon for the third consecutive year, with a time of 2:24:26
  • Ghirmay Ghebreslassie of Eritrea, who finished with a time 2:07:51, made history by becoming the youngest-ever male winner of the TCS New York City Marathon


The competitors were off to the races as they ran through all five boroughs, completing their trek in Central Park. Support for the marathon is a part of the premier, year-round partnership between TCS and New York Road Runners (NYRR) to support and promote health-focused community programs and events.

Bringing its technology expertise to the race, TCS enabled runners and fans alike to truly experience the fun and excitement of Race Week and Marathon Sunday. Once again this year, the official TCS NYC Marathon mobile app enabled spectators to interact with the race and introduced new features including the capability to track multiple runners and a vibration alert when they crossed the finish line. Live race results, interactive course maps and elite athlete information were also available, as was the ability to make donations to NYRR Mighty Milers, a free running program designed to spark an interest in fitness among children and prevent obesity and illness. This year’s app downloads increased to 312,000, making it the top free sports app in the Apple store for the second year in a row.

At the Health and Fitness Expo and Pavilion, fans experienced exciting technological additions to this year’s race with the TCS-developed virtual reality race course which transported fans to the race via 360-degree views, surround sound and mobile-enabled headsets, allowing users to truly experience the thrill of taking part in the race. TCS also provided augmented reality stations for users to experience course elevation changes, mile markers and fluid stations, while the TCS Runfographics, displayed on custom tables, brought the race course to life via 3-D graphics and enabled users to interact with the race course.

An exciting addition to this year’s race was the implementation of a pilot program for performance metrics powered by TCS. In an effort to gather data for future races, 10 racers across the spectrum — elite, wheelchair and recreational — wore biometric sensors to track their performance in real time. These sensors provided data on elements such as steps per minute, body temperature, and breathing and heart rates.

The TCS goIT program was well represented at this year’s race with an exciting opportunity for 12 middle school students who were the finalists in the second annual TCS NYC Marathon goIT App Contest. The students from schools in the Bronx, Brooklyn and New Jersey built apps based on the theme of health and fitness. The winning app — ‘Digihealth 101’ — was built by a team of three girls from Woodrow Wilson Middle School in New Jersey and gamified fitness-building for youth and adults while incorporating social media. Finalists earned trophies, prizes and grandstand seating on Marathon Sunday, while the winning team handed out medals during the para-athlete awards ceremony and held the finish line tape.

The success of the race would not be possible without the dedicated support of TCS employees and the more than 700 Team TCS runners. This year, to show appreciation, TCS Fit4Life program launched a competition to acknowledge employees who embody a fit lifestyle and serve as ambassadors of the program. The winning employees from TCS offices around the globe were awarded a trip to New York City and the opportunity to experience the race and headline events during Race Week,  including opening ceremonies, the traditional Marathon Eve Pasta Dinner and the VIP post-race event at the famous Tavern on the Green in Central Park.

The winner of this year’s men’s division was Ghirmay Ghebreslassie of Eritrea, who finished with a time of 2:07:51, making history by becoming the youngest-ever male winner of the TCS New York City Marathon. Mary Keitany of Kenya repeated her success, winning in the female division for the third consecutive year with a time of 2:24:26. Marcel Hung of Switzerland won the men’s wheelchair division for the second time, with a time of 1:35:44, and Tatyana McFadden of the United States secured her fifth victory in the women’s wheelchair division with a time of 1:47:43.