Run A Marathon… In Your Web Browser… No Moving Required

Running a marathon is hard. I should know, I’ve never even considered running one. But a lot of people do. And a lot of people like the idea of going to watch others run marathons. I have no idea why, but they do — I’ve seen it on TV. Anyway, if you have any interest in tracking a marathon, Skyhook Wireless has a pretty cool way of doing it.

The San Francisco Marathon is this coming Sunday. To coincide with it, Skyhook Wireless has set up a new “Skyhook Experience” to track the event. On their page, you’ll be able to see geotagged tweets, Flickr photos, and Foursquare check-ins all around the event in realtime. You’ll also be able to go back in time (with a slider) to watch all of the aforementioned data evolve.

The idea is similar to the site SimpleGeo set up for SXSW. Like SimpleGeo, Skyhook is doing this to showcase their data. On the map you can not only see (and click on) individual data points, but you can see heat maps of particularly hot areas of geo data.

On Race Day Sunday you’ll see hotspots activity – an actual application of geodata to a live event. And with the social context on top of location, we show a unique kind of view to what’s actually happening on the ground,” Skyhook’s VP of Marketing, Kate Imbach says.

She notes that they also did something similar for Country Music Festival in Nashville in June. “Turns out they love the crap out of their Keith Urban — the activity went off the charts the second he took the stage,” she humorously remarks. You can see that data here.

These data showcases do offer up a kind of neat visual way to follow events remotely. And this one saves you the hassle of running 26 miles.