A race not for the faint-of-heart...Athletes will start running in darkness across 108km and climb nearly 7km in altitude between the two tallest peaks in the Pyrenees. With minimal mobile phone coverage in this remote area, satellite is the only reliable way to stay connected.
Globalstar Europe Satellite Services Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Globalstar Inc. (NYSE MKT: GSAT) provider of satellite messaging and emergency notification technologies, will assist endurance athletes competing in the Gran Trail Aneto Posets race in the Benasque valley in Spain who will carry the SPOT Gen3 safety device for tracking and emergency assistance.
Each of the semi-sufficient 300 participants will run with a SPOT Gen3 mounted on his/her backpack, allowing race organizers, emergency support teams, sponsors, family and friends to precisely track each runner’s location online as they cross challenging terrain including snow and boulder fields.
The premier race for elite athletes, the Gran Trail Aneto Posets race starts at midnight on July 22nd . Athletes will start running in darkness across 108km and climb nearly 7km in altitude between the two tallest peaks in the Pyrenees. With minimal mobile phone coverage in this remote area, satellite is the only reliable way to stay connected.
In case of an emergency, a competitor presses the SPOT Gen3’s SOS button and precise location data is transmitted from the device to the race organizers who can quickly coordinate a rescue with local emergency support teams.
Customized tracking software is provided by athletic gear and tracking specialist WAA Tracking, Globalstar’s VAR partner based in France. WAA Tracking’s interface allows sponsors, friends and family of participants to search for and locate the positions and progress of competitors.
To support competitors as they run across difficult terrain in the dark in areas without mobile phone signal, WAA’s geo-fencing software will alert race organizers instantly in the event that any competitor wanders off course. Support teams can then be dispatched using the precise coordinates of the runner’s location.
Rafa Yuste Oliete of Gran Trail Trangoworld Aneto-Posets, the event organizer, commented, “We evaluated a number of technologies that claim to provide both satellite tracking and emergency messaging but found that nothing comes close to the SPOT Gen3. Its size, cost and reliability mark it out as the must-have device for competitors in extreme conditions. The integration with WAA Tracking’s software puts this solution head and shoulders above the competition.”
“Since we launched SPOT in 2007, it has been responsible for over 4,300 rescues worldwide,” said Gary King, SPOT Regional Sales Manager - EMEA at Globalstar. “The SPOT Gen3 is fast becoming the de facto choice for extreme running and mountain bike races across Europe and North Africa. In the last couple of years, dozens of extreme race competitors have been rescued thanks to SPOT Gen3’s SOS button and many more have been redirected back onto the correct route, ensuring they finish the race, thanks to the combination of SPOT’s precision and WAA Tracking’s geo-fencing,” continued King.