Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge walks out of the Covid-19 testing area after entering the bio-secure bubble for the elite-only 2020 London Marathon (Photo: Bob Martin for London Marathon Events)
Social-distancing measures at the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon will be supported by Tharsus’s Bump technology system.
The 40th edition of the annual race will be the only major marathon to take place anywhere in the world since the Covid-19 pandemic took hold.
Due to restrictions imposed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2020 event will feature elite-only races taking place in a secure biosphere environment in St. James’s Park.
Tharsus’s Bump devices will be worn by the 100 elite athletes preparing to take part in the men’s, women’s and wheelchair races. Devices will also be worn by 500 members of the Marathon’s operational team to help maintain the biosecure bubble for the event.
Developed by the advanced-robotics firm in anticipation of the impact that the Covid-19 pandemic would have, Bump is a cutting-edge system designed to help wearers feel safe, inform effective social-distancing behaviour and thus reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission. It comprises wearable and static devices that use sophisticated Radio Frequency (RF) technology to create a Personal Motion System that immediately alerts wearers when they are getting too close to another person.
Initially deployed in controlled workplace environments, the partnership with the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon highlights the potential applications of Bump in wider sporting and entertainment contexts.
As the UK Government announces further social-distancing measures and work from home mandates, social-distancing technology can play a role in giving society confidence to safely interact, including facilitating sporting events to support clubs and organisations in dire need of revenue.
The Bump devices will allow Marathon organisers to accurately monitor how often and for how long elite athletes and event staff spend within a pre-defined distance of each other. The system will not only make it clear when wearers get too close to one another, but should a wearer test positive for Covid-19 in the two weeks following the event, event organisers will be able to trace interactions back to specific wearers and inform them accordingly.
Seven Hills came on board in April as a strategic partner in the development of Bump and led media outreach to support the news. Press highlights included BBC Breakfast, BBC News Online, The Times, Forbes, the Evening Standard, The i, City AM and a range of trade press.