If you watch the New York City Marathon, the only runners among the 37,000 you are guaranteed to see on television are the elite ones. Finding a friend or relative racing along the 26.2-mile route would be purely coincidental.
But Sunday’s race offers a chance for online users to pay $4.99 to see five runners at three locations: the Pulaski Bridge, which connects Greenpoint to Long Island City, at the 13-mile mark; 110th Street and First Avenue in East Harlem, which is about 19 miles into the race; and the finish line.
The system, created by NBC Universal Sports and Media Zone in a partnership with the New York City Road Runners Club, begins with PC users (but not those with Macs) logging in at www.nbcsports.com or www.ingnycmarathon.org, and entering up to five runners’ bib numbers.
Along the course, all runners will have computer chips tied to their shoelaces. When the runners make contact with the rubber mats at the three locations, the chips will emit radio signals that identify them and their locations; the information is transmitted to the Road Runners’ Web site and passed along to nbcsports.com and Media Zone.