Comrades Marathon gets a social media boost

The world’s oldest and largest ultra-marathon, the Comrades, is getting social media-savvy in the form of an official Twitter stream that will be live tweeting the race. There will also be updates via SMS and live streaming video on the marathon’s official website this year.

The 89km-long race, which takes place on the 31st of May, will host some new, interactive features “designed to enrich the experience for the viewing public”.

After downloading Microsoft’s Silverlight plugin, viewers are able to watch streaming video, which has also been integrated with the marathon’s official tweet stream, comradesm2010.

Silverlight is a free, cross-browser, cross-platform rich media plug-in which has become a popular platform for delivering live and on-demand streaming video of sporting events, including the 2008 Beijing Olympics on, where 52,1-million people logged on to watch 9,9-million hours of video.

Family and friends can also follow the progress of individual runners by SMS’ing a particular runner’s race number to 38132. For a fee of R10, interested parties will receive five SMS’s during the course of the race, informing them of the participants’ progress through the various stages.



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