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Innovation Copenhagen Marathon

04 July 2017, 7am

Personalised live video among technology innovations

The “digital race experience”

Telenor Copenhagen Marathon
Sun 21 May 2017

The organizers of the Telenor Copenhagen Marathon have identified ‘the digital experience’ as the means to set the direction of their race with the aim of providing “a more personalised and engaging marathon experience”.

The race held on 21 May marked the beginning of a development strategy of which a key part is to elevate the “digital presence”.

“We are already a long way towards outlining and realising our digital road map” claims Dorte Vijborg, director at the organising club Sparta. “We are front-runners in live tracking and sharing video and photo content on every digital platform, but we are not stopping at this”.

The race organisers are working on implementing the idea of a personalised marathon that allows every participant to access as much information about their run as possible. This would include every single participant having their own profile and being able analyse their own data. This would include watching their run from beginning to end. Not only that, says Viborg, but the idea is that “perhaps someday your mom, dad or girlfriend will be able to sit in their living rooms and run the marathon next to you thanks to virtual reality.”

For the 2017 race spectators were able to watch every single runner in real-time while they were passing through four different ‘live zones’ on the course, thanks to the race being live streamed through four live channels. On one channel it was possible to watch the entire race and when one of your favourite runners passed through a live zone you could switch channels to watch that runner in real-time. After the race this video and photo content was made available for free download. To make sure that all runners and spectators could obtain the live stream the title sponsor Telenor boosted their mobile coverage by setting up a 22m tall mast.

Peter Nødbak, network director at Telenor Denmark, says: “To us it makes perfect sense to focus on the digital aspects of the Marathon. Our customers spend much of their lives on digital platforms so of course we have to provide easy and smart solutions for them to stream, upload pictures and snap their best moment from the race.”

The race offered a vast number of digital options for the benefit of both runners and spectators. The possibilities offered by the four ‘live zones’ were eagerly seized upon, especially the chance to view live photos and videos of runners on the course at these points.

“Our digital features have been very popular,” said Viborg. “We can see that there was fierce activity on our website, app, and interactive course map, with 215,000 users active during the race, of which 170,000 were watching the live stream."

The massive user influx created extremely high demand on the network but the extra mast set up by Telenor allowed everyone in the start and finish area to enjoy the new features of live streaming from the course and video diplomas for the runners. This showed that the marathon has great potential for more digital exploration.

Data traffic throughout Telenor’s network rose just before the start of the race (at 09.30) suggesting that runners were uploading one last time before the race. A similar trend repeated itself between 12.00-15.00 when network traffic reports showed that runners and spectators were back in the finish area sharing their accomplishments through pictures and videos on social media.

“We can clearly confirm the trend that runners and spectators want to document their marathon experience through Facebook or Instagram posts” said Nodbak. “Usually downloads such as streaming video take place much more within our network but the Marathon was a classic example of Danes diligently adding content to their digital channels.”

11,500,000 requests for results
38,000 active users of the Telenor CPH Marathon app (average 28 minutes)
95,000 online users at the race website
71,000 online users at
60,000 live images, which are shown 2,000,000 times
170,000 activations of live streaming
40,000 activations of live video from the four live zones


1 Julius Ndiritu KARINGA KEN 2:12:10
2 Alex BARTILOL KEN 2:12:37
3 Eliud SUGUT KEN 2:16:15
4 Mike KIPROTICH KEN 2:16:56
5 Martin Ptalai KAKORI KEN 2:18:02
1 Hana Teklu ZEMEDKUN ETH 2:47:24
2 Haregewoin AGONAFIR ETH 2:47:36
3 Behafeta Hadies ABREHA ETH 2:47:44
4 Gladys CHEPNGETICH KEN 2:48:09
5 Sarah Erbst LEDET DEN 2:49:21

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