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Plaudits for MT as Parish Walk deadline looms

Organisers of one of the lsland's most popular sporting challenges have spoken out in praise of the local company which has played an integral part in giving the event a truly global audience.

With the closing date fast approaching for entries to the 2009 Clerical Medical Parish Walk, the part played by Manx Telecom has earned special recognition.

According to event director, Ray Cox and the company behind the walk’s timing system, SPORTident, the service provided by MT has transformed the event for both competitors, the thousands of people who both spectate and provide on-course support, and even armchair fans.

‘Manx Telecom’s role has become a necessity not a luxury,’ said Mr Cox. ‘There is no way the event could run as it does without this involvement.’

Manx Telecom sponsors the timing system which enables both organisers and supporters to track the competitors. Not only that, but thanks to Manx Telecom’s 3G technology, the event can also now be watched ‘live’ via a handset or from a PC in the comfort of your own home – anywhere in the world.

The key to the rapid feed of data to phones and computers is the electronic tag which is fitted to each competitor’s wrist. Each time a walker passes one of the many parish church registration points around the 85 mile course, a signal is instantaneously sent via Manx Telecom’s 3G network back to the race website, identifying the name of the competitor, their location and time. If competitors drop out, this information is also sent electronically to alert friends and family.

Last year the Walk attracted around 1600 competitors, who had to brave appalling weather conditions.

‘Despite that, Manx Telecom’s 3G network ensured the transmission of data and information was maintained throughout the walk which was critical from a health and safety viewpoint,’ said Martin Stone, SPORTident’s managing director.

‘I can’t think of many other events where this level of coverage would have been maintained in such hostile, remote areas without using satellite phones, and Manx Telecom’s role should not be underestimated in this,’ he added.

In 2007 Manx Telecom also introduced an innovative text facility, whereby competitors can register with organisers the numbers of two support mobile phones. At each parish church, a free text message is sent to those two phones, providing friends and supporters with accurate information as to where their competitor is.

Nearly 15,000 watched the live event unfold on their PC with almost 400 viewing progress via a mobile.

This year, too, more screens are planned to be placed around the course, enhancing on course viewing of the data feeds provided by Manx Telecom.

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