This weekend, thousands of runners will take to the streets of England’s capital city for the Virgin London Marathon.
Whilst over 90% of runners will be pounding the roads and pavements on behalf of a charity, a new project from runner Gemma Bardsley, entitled Beats Per Mile, puts a new twist on tracking a runner’s progress, allowing people to monitor her location, see her tweets, listen to her music playlist and even view the Instagram photos posted nearby.
Miss Bardsley will be running for the charity Rett UK, an organisation that helps people with the syndrome deal with epilepsy and scoliosis (curvature of the spine), leaving 95% of suffers without the ability to walk and in many cases talk. Wanting to raise awareness for the charity, Bardsley decided to combine her race with her interests in technology, music and photography – hooking up social media and GPS services to help her do just that.
When the race begins on Sunday, Bardsley’s pace will tracked using the popular iPhone app RunKeeper Elite, posting it to the Beats Per Mile website. The same site will pull in live tweets, Instagram images posted by spectators nearby and even her playlist will be streamed as she runs, hopefully helping spectators get in the zone. The site will be accessible from either a desktop browser or a user’s mobile device.
With a little help from designer Howard Sutton and developer Marc Hibbins, who combined some HTML 5, a custom built RunKeeper interface and the APIs of Twitter, Instagram, SoundCloud and JustGiving, the website is stylish whilst remaining informative.
The team here wish Gemma and all other London Marathon runners the best of luck.