Tracking marathon runners

Sunday March 12 was the Zurich Marathon Barcelona. This marathon routes through the Barcelona city center and there are more than 20.000 runners.

 Zurich Barcelona Marathon route

This time IoT partners give our LoRaTracker device to two marathon runners, Raúl and Álvaro. Raul's objective was to finish the marathon in less than 3 hours, as he did before. This was the first marathon for Alvaro, and his objective was to finish in less than 4 hours.

Álvaro & Raúl

We give our LoRaTracker device to them to wear it while completing the marathon. Our LoRaTracker uses a last generation GPS device, a very-low power microcontroller and sends the data using LoRa and LoRaWAN protocol (brochure, PDF)

This time, LoRaTracke was configured to send geoposition every minute. This means that the tracker tries to get position from the GPs one time per minute. If it success, it sends its position to the Internet, if the GPS lock fails (bad coverage, tall buildings, etc.) it will try again in a minute.

Raúl weared his LoRaTracker in his arm, and Álvaro put his in its belt pouch. As the device is very light: 54 grams (including battery and antennas) none of them complain about the extra weight.

Zurich Marató de Barcelona

The system

LoRaTracker  is a GPS-based tracker with LoRa connectivity and LoRaWAN protocol. The deviec gets the position from the GPS and sends this data to the cloud using wireless communications. This technology needs a set of gateways as infrastructure to have coverage. In this case, Tracktio and Actility supported us giving access to their infrastructure and giving us full coverage on all the city.


LoRaTracker uses rechargeable ion-lithium batteries (Li-ion) that last for hours or days (depending of the data rate). The battery can be charged using the LoRaTracker device using the USB connector.

The GPS antenna is an active integrated antenna, but the radio antenna is external, giving a huge flexibility depending of the final use and the required performance.

Data sent by LoRaTracker, once received by the LoRaWAN infrastructure are forwarded to our Cloud, where they are processed, stored and presented using a web app.

The race

Raúl starting point was in the yellow starting corral (less than 3 hours) and he keeps a good pace to finish with less than 2.50h. Álvaro starting corral was grey (less than 4 hours).

In our control panel, people could follow in real time the position of the two runner and also see the history of all past positions.

Real time position of the two runners

Raul tracker of the entire route

Both runners complete the marathon, Raúl a bit above his target time (3:04:43 and position 810) and Álvaro's performance was really good (3:33:01 and position 3926).


The product

LoRaTracker is a GPS and LoRa based tracker configurable for several applications. In this example we used it to track two marathon runners, but it can be configured to track vehicles, people, goods, etc. The cloud platform is also easily configurable to our customers.

For more information contact us

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