Organisers introduce gadgets to ensure social distancing during Sunday’s race

Friday, October 2nd, 2020 00:00 |
Eliud Kipchoge (right) training alongside Kenya’s pacemaker Noah Kipkemboi within the grounds of the official marathon hotel and biosecure bubble for the elite-only 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon to be held on 4th October. Photo/AFP

This year’s London Marathon organisers are working with Tharsus, one of the UK’s most advanced robotics companies, to use its bump technology system to implement social-distancing during the build-up to and at the main event on Sunday.

Tharsus’s Bump devices will be worn by all the 100 elite athletes taking part in the men’s, women’s and wheelchair races.

Devices will also be worn by 500 members of the Virgin Money London Marathon’s operational team to help maintain the biosecure bubble for the event.

Developed in anticipation of the impact that the Covid-19 pandemic would have, Bump is a cutting-edge system designed to help wearers feel safe, inform effective social-distancing behaviour and thus reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission. It comprises wearable and

static devices that use sophisticated Radio Frequency (RF) technology to create a ‘Personal Motion System’ that immediately alerts wearers when they are getting too close to another person.

The Bump devices will allow marathon organisers to accurately monitor how often and for how long elite athletes and event staff spend within a pre-defined distance of each other.

The system will not only make it clear when wearers get too close to one another, but should a wearer test positive for Covid-19 in the next two weeks after the event, organisers will be able to trace interactions back to specific wearers and inform them accordingly.

“This weekend’s event is the culmination of months of planning around how to deliver a socially distanced race that is safe for all participants and stakeholders. Tharsus’s Bump

technology has played an important role, giving our athletes and internal teams extra confidence to engage with the event safely.’’said Hugh Brasher, Event Director.

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