I’ve lined the streets of our capital four times over years to watch friends running the London marathon. Anyone else who might have done the same will probably agree that whilst it’s a lot of fun soaking up the carnival-like atmosphere, what’s not quite as fun is trying to work out with mathematical genius-like precision the few seconds in which your known runners might be passing the spot you’ve preserved for three or so hours. In the blink of an eye, probably when you’ve nipped to the loo, said friends or family will have passed and that opportunity to show off the piece of glittery cardboard emblazoned with some supportive text will have passed. Of the four times I’ve been, I’ve only caught sight of a friend once. You do the math; you don’t have to be a genius for that.

If only I’d known about the Official Virgin Money London Marathon Race app which is powered by technology from TCS.


If you know someone running this Sunday, download it in time for the big race, it’s an absolutely brilliant way to keen track of how they’re getting on, plus much, much more. It’s the only London Marathon guide you’ll need this year.

I’ve broken down some of the features of the app below:

  • The app has an in-built tracking system and interactive course map that allows supporters to connect with multiple runners they know (plus elite runners and celebs) and will track them the entire length of the 26.2 miles race, no matter what pace they’re running. The app provides an update every 5K and predicts the time they’ll pass the next 5K based on their pace, allowing supporters an opportunity to find the best viewing point to cheer them on and get that glittery cardboard ready!

  • The app includes a spectator’s guide which includes points of interest such as cheer points, loos, First Aid, key landmarks, meeting points, transport info, water stations and possibly the most important point of interest, pubs along the route (for once you’ve seen your friend, of course).

  • Brilliantly, there’s the chance to donate to the runner’s fundraising target through the app. We’ve all been there, promising a donation whether it’s for the marathon or an office cake sale, but never get around to it. Using the app you can donate from the runner’s tracking page and then be redirected to their Virgin Money Giving page.

  • The app includes a live leader board, so it’s a great way of knowing if your friends are keeping up with the likes of Sir Mo Farah.

  • The app is part of the #ThisRun campaign by TCS, which celebrates all runners and the reasons they’re running, whether it’s for loved ones, a good cause or a personal challenge.

  • Push Notifications allow you to receive a notification when your tracked runners have crossed the start line (it can take ages just to cross the start line), halfway point and finish line.

  • If you’re planning on visiting the Virgin Money London Marathon Running Show, the app has opening times, exhibitors and an interactive floorplan, as well as the venue location.

  • You can support runners and share your marathon experience using Virgin Money London Marathon themed selfie filters along with the #ThanksaBillion hashtag.


So there you have it, there is absolutely no reason to be like me and continually miss your friends or loved ones as they nobly pound the streets of London this Sunday. Nor do you need a PHD in maths to work out a decent cheering point. The app has everything covered. All that’s left for you to do is to download it.

Download for Apple here:

Download for Android here:

Good luck to everyone running!