PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Pittsburgh Marathon is this Sunday, and as runners get ready to take on the course, there is new technology that can help family and friends cheer them on.

In a few days, thousands will be making their way down the Boulevard to cross the finish line. For spectators, this year keeping tabs on your marathoner, will be in the palm of your hand.

There’s that fleeting moment during the marathon as someone you know quickly passes by, you have seconds to shout words of encouragement.

But this year, with new and improved technology, you’ll be able to track runners throughout the course.

“Everybody really wants to find out what’s going on on the course, and where they are,” said Dee Stathis, the director of operations for the Pittsburgh Marathon. “It gives them the ability to cheer them on all throughout the race, even if they’re not next to them, they’ll know where they are.”

By signing up on the Pittsburgh Marathon website, spectators can receive Twitter or Facebook alerts, text messages or email when the runner you know crosses checkpoints mats along the course.

“All the runners have timing tabs on their race numbers, so when they cross certain mats along the course, it tracks them,” said Stathis. “So, if they cross the 10K mark, every runner will have a 10K time.”

The Pittsburgh Marathon this year will also have QR Codes on runners’ bibs.

Using a smartphone, they can scan it after the race and get their results almost immediately. If you don’t have a smartphone, don’t worry, marathon organizers have you covered.

“We also have a results tent in the finish line festival this year, which we’ve never had before,” said Stathis. “So the runner, once they go through the runner’s shoot, they go to the finish line festival, they can go and print out their certificate, that has their time on it, their name, and that they’re a ‘Runner of Steel’ and what they’ve accomplished that day.”

In order to take part in all this new technology, you must sign up before the race.

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