Safaricom rolls out technology to help athletes break two-hour marathon

In a bid to break Dennis Kimetto’s 2:02.57 world record, mobile service provider Safaricom in partnership with Vodafone and a group of specialist scientists, world’s best marathon runners have formed a project called SUB2.

Apart from building a legacy for the athletes, the project will also aim at proving to the world how science and technology can be a boost to athletes’ performance.

“We continue to seek and explore new innovations around the latest technologies, with the goal of creating new opportunities for Kenyans,” Thibaud Rerolle, Safricom’s Director of Technology said.

The technology was demonstrated at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona early this month and is currently being used at the on a two-kilometre stretch within the hilly Iten and a 16-kilometre stretch on a flat south Moiben route in Eldoret training grounds in Kenya in.

Vodafone has already built a SUB2 smart watch app which provides telemetry that has enhanced location tracking through mobile networks. Ethiopian veteran marathon runner Kenenisa Bekele used it during the2017 Berlin Marathon.

In collaboration with other partners, Vodafone engineers have enabled a series of body sensors to communicate with SUB2 app which has several merits.

Dennis Kimetto en route to setting a marathon world record at the 2014 BMW Berlin Marathon (PHOTO/IAAF/Organisers)

The app, is claimed can provide running efficiency metrics that can help physiologists working in coaching teams to determine an athlete’s running mechanics and communicate advice for injury avoidance and performance enhancement even when they are out on running strategies.

Not only does the app allow coaches to have live access real-time data as athletes train but also helps the coaches to access real-time data and this can help them understand the root of injuries or performance degradation and how it can be avoided.

It can also inform elite athletes if they will strain to bear hotter than expected during a run and should change their water intake strategy. The team is also planning to enable the app show its core temperature in the new future.