Compaq to Keep an Ear to the Ground During Boston Marathon

Compaq Computer Corporation will provide the 105th B.A.A. Boston Marathon on Monday, April 16 with a wireless computer network that will provide runner updates to spectators throughout the racecourse.

With the use of computer chips that all runners wear on their shoes, the Compaq Athlete Search System will transmit details about each runner’s progress to allow family and friends of participants, as well as an international audience, to follow the action from start to finish.

A team of 30 Compaq volunteers – equipped with Compaq’s iPAQ Pocket PC wireless Internet devices – will be stationed along the course at checkpoints located every five kilometers (5K through 40K). The half-marathon mark also is a checkpoint and will produce data.

Spectators on the course are encouraged to approach clearly identified Compaq volunteers who, through the use of the hand-held computer and wireless technology, will provide on-location, instant updates about any runner in the race. The Compaq iPAQ team will be outfitted in bright red shirts labeled with "Ask Me About Your Runner" to allow fans to spot them along the course. In addition to wireless access on the course, spectators will be able to follow the racing action on Compaq iPAQs while waiting in the race’s Family Meeting Area. Runner updates also will be accessible from the race Web site at www.bostonmarathon.org.