NEW YORK, Nov. 8, 1999 — Joseph Chebet, 29, of Kenya raced through the bustling streets of Manhattan Sunday to take first place in the 1999 New York City Marathon. The crowds in New York and all over the world roared with excitement as he crossed the finish line of the world’s largest marathon.
This year, race enthusiasts unable to make it to New York did not have to wait for the nightly newscasts, or the morning newspapers to get the winning times. Instead, they were able to track the race online in real time and share in the thrill of Chebet’s finish, as well as those of their own family and friends in the 26.2-mile race.
As Chebet finished the marathon in 2:09:14, his time was immediately posted to the MSN.com official NYC Marathon Web site at http://www.nycmarathon.MSN.com . The finish times of the other 30,000 runners followed in 20-minute intervals throughout the day. Internet users around the globe can still visit the interactive site through Nov. 21 and search for race results by last name, time, bib number, country, state and gender.
In addition to accessing race results, family, friends and race enthusiasts can view streaming video footage of finish-line family reunion celebrations, download historical marathon footage and send congratulations e-greetings, all with the click of a mouse.
As the first official Internet sponsor in the 30-year history of the NYC Marathon, MSN.com designed the Web site to make this year’s event accessible and fun for spectators around the world. Thanks to the “ChampionChip,” a small transponder worn on the runners’ shoelaces that records race times as runners cross the start and finish lines, race results were available online for the first time as the race occurred.
“We are excited about this relationship with MSN.com and the many benefits technology brings to people who follow the New York City Marathon,” said Scott Lange, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of the New York Road Runners Club, which joined Microsoft to create the Web site. “As the New York City Marathon continues to evolve into a global sporting event, it is ideal to pair with Microsoft, a global leader in the Internet space.”