Monday, June 8, 2009

Friends and Family running Grandma's this year?

Verizon Wireless to Offer Runner Tracking at Grandma’s Marathon
Registration Runs June 8-19 Online for Family and Friends of Race Participants

(Duluth, Minn.) If you’re looking to keep an eye on the progress of your favorite runners during Grandma’s Marathon weekend, Verizon Wireless has the perfect solution.

A tracking system will enable race fans to receive periodic runner updates through a text message or an e-mail. These updates, made possible by Verizon Wireless, will be accessible for all participants running in the 2009 Grandma’s Marathon and Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon, both on June 20.

Beginning June 8, family members and friends can log onto GrandmasMarathon.com and simply enter the name(s) of the runner(s) they want to track. They will be able to choose whether they want to receive the information through text message or e-mail by entering a valid wireless phone number or email address.

The signup period for 2009 runs through 6 p.m. on Friday, June 19 by logging onto the Grandma's Marathon web site or by stopping by the Verizon Wireless booth at the SMDC Health System Health and Fitness Expo on Thursday and Friday, June 18-19.

“By extending the signup period through June 19, we expect even more family and friends to track runners via text messaging this year,” said Nancy B. Clark, president-Verizon Wireless Great Plains Region. “As a 17-year sponsor of Grandma’s Marathon weekend, we are pleased to provide new data communications services to enhance the race weekend for all participants and their fans.”

This marks the second year that major sponsor Verizon Wireless is sponsoring runner tracking via text messaging and e-mail. Last year, the service proved popular with more than 4,000 spectators signing up and more than 9,000 e-mails and nearly 28,000 text messages delivered during the half marathon and marathon.

"The runner tracking technology was a wonderful addition to our event last year and we are excited to showcase this unique program again in 2009," said Laura Bergen, director of event and program development for Grandma's Marathon. "Having access to runner updates in virtual real-time is a great way check the progress of a family member or friend on the course.”

This enhanced tracking technology is a joint effort between Grandma’s Marathon, Verizon Wireless, ChampionChip Minnesota and MarathonGuide.com.

In all, nearly 17,000 runners and 50,000 race fans from around the world will participate in the 33rd annual Grandma's Marathon weekend, which is presented by Target, Toyota and Wells Fargo Bank Duluth.
For more information, visit www.GrandmasMarathon.com or call (218) 727-0947.

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