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New App Helps Spectators Cheer On Runners

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

RickDayton Rick Dayton
Rick Dayton joined KDKA in September 2009 as a morning news anchor. ...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – This will be a busy weekend in Downtown Pittsburgh.

There is a Penguins game, a Pirates game and the well as the annual Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon.

In fact, more than 130,000 people are expected to pack Downtown Sunday for the marathon.

Spotting your favorite runner among the crowds could be a bit tricky. However, an app developed by a Carnegie Mellon graduate is solving that problem.

“During the race, they will be able to kind of track them on the course, going over the bridges and
so forth,” James Harris said.

The age old competition of marathon running is getting a high-tech facelift thanks to Harris.

“This comes from my experience at Carnegie, was how to get information from a variety of sources – useful, meaningful information — and present it to users in a format that they need. That is what we were taught to do and that is what Racejoy does,” Harris said.

Finding your runner in a sea of 30,000 people can be nearly impossible. Harris and his wife learned the hard way when he was competing in triathlons.

“A couple of the big Ironmans she actually missed me completely finishing the race. So, it’s an idea that has been percolating with us for 8 to 10 years in that we need a better way of knowing information about where we are on the course and being able to quickly find us,” he said.

There will be lots of time when you won’t be able to see your runner, but an optional portion of Racejoy will allow you to cheer for them from far away.

“You can send them fun cheers. So, I can go right here and I can send them a fun Pittsburgh cheer “Way to go Yinz. Yinz can do it,” Harris said.

Pushing them to a new personal best, you can all meet at the finish line where there is no more waiting to find out how you did.

“The nice thing about Racejoy — your results, scored results — sent right to your phone, right when you finish. You can see right where you are in your age group, You can see your award division and all that information is right on your phone,” he said.

Racejoy is available on any Apple or android device. The app is free, but there is a small charge to use some of the GPS tracking features.

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