The Pittsburgh Marathon is an annual race held on the first Sunday in May in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Originally founded in 1985, the marathon was revived in 2009 after a several-year hiatus due to city finances. Today, the marathon serves as the finale to a weekend of activities that includes a children’s race, a 5K race, a pet walk, a toddler trot, a marathon, a half marathon and a marathon relay. The festivities draw more than 40,000 participants to the downtown Pittsburgh area throughout the weekend.
Both marathon organizers and local response teams depend on a robust, reliable Internet connection to power WiFi-enabled services during the festivities. Their needs during the busy weekend range from GPS tracking devices on response vehicles and bike teams to cameras located along the race course, and everything in between.
In order to support such a robust event, the Pittsburgh Marathon partnered with Comcast Business to install five Ethernet Dedicated Internet (EDI) lines across two locations. The medical tent at the finish line had a 200 megabit per second (Mbps) connection so organizers could track runners who checked in along the course or at the finish line. The marathon’s operations headquarters had four EDIs in place, ranging from 80 Mbps to 500 Mbps. Together, the five EDI lines delivered the high-performance connectivity and system redundancy required to meet the marathon’s immense bandwidth needs and high service standards necessary to help keep runners safe and the event functioning seamlessly. Read the case study.