Customer stories

Illinois Marathon

Illinois Marathon Implements Life-Saving Measures With Hapn


The Illinois Marathon is one of the largest marathons in the Midwest, attracting over 15,000 racers every year since 2009. The marathon offers a variety of races for different levels of runners, from 5K to Half Marathon, as well as relay challenges and a mile race. The marathon takes place in historic Champaign-Urbana, home of the University of Illinois, and features a scenic course that runs through campus and nearby neighborhoods. The marathon also supports several local charities and community organizations.

Organizing and managing a large-scale marathon poses many challenges for event planners, especially when it comes to ensuring the safety and well-being of every participant. With so many racers running long distances across miles and miles of terrain, anything can happen. From dropouts due to fatigue or injury to possible medical emergencies such as dehydration or cardiac arrest, event planners need to be prepared for any situation.

One of the key challenges for the Illinois Marathon is to provide high-quality prehospital care to marathon runners and the public. Prehospital care refers to the medical services that are delivered before patients reach a hospital or other health facility. Prehospital care is crucial for saving lives and reducing complications in cases of trauma or illness. However, providing prehospital care at a mass endurance event such as a marathon is not easy. Event planners need to coordinate a network of volunteers, medical staff, emergency vehicles,

“We need to know what our closest resources are on the course –whether it’s emergency support and non-emergency support,” said Jason Harden, Participant Support Liaison. “We use golf carts on the course –which are a lot easier to manage within the smaller confines instead of larger vehicles.”


To overcome this challenge, the Illinois Marathon decided to use Hapn’s GPS tracking solution, choosing a tracking device that is small enough to fit in a pocket, portable enough to be carried by volunteers and medical staff, and fast enough to provide real-time location data. Hapn’s GPS tracking solution allows event planners to monitor and manage their resources on the course, whether it is emergency support or non-emergency support.

Hapn’s GPS tracking solution has been especially beneficial for the medical team of the Illinois Marathon, who can now easily locate and communicate with their leads and tails on the course. Leads are volunteers who run ahead of the pack and report any issues or incidents that may occur. Tails are volunteers who run behind the last runner and make sure everyone finishes safely. By using Hapn’s GPS tracking solution, the medical team can pinpoint exactly where their leads and tails are at any given time and send them assistance if needed.

Jason Harden, Participant Support Liaison of the Illinois Marathon, said: “I know our medical team probably is most appreciative of the GPS tracking. It’s nice to know where our leads and our tails are. We have the benefit of them reporting as they’re traveling through the course so we can pinpoint exactly where they are.”

Prior to implementing Hapn’s GPS tracking solution, Illinois Marathon was using radio communications to figure out exactly where their medical response resources were. Oftentimes it would take a lot of back and forth trying to get them where they needed to be –eating into time they just couldn’t afford to lose.

“Luckily we haven’t had any serious emergencies, but if we do have a heart attack on the course, I truly believe this unit is a life-saving device. We love its accuracy and reporting, knowing exactly which unit is closest so that we can get help to that intersection quickly. Getting the shortest response time possible is the most critical component for us.”

Hapn’s GPS tracking solution also helps event planners keep track of other assets such as golf carts, which are used for non-emergency support on the course. Golf carts are easier to manage within smaller confines than larger vehicles. However, they are also prone to theft or misuse by unauthorized personnel. With Hapn’s GPS tracking solution, event planners can protect their golf carts against theft by setting up smart boundaries that alert them when a golf cart leaves a designated area. They can also monitor how their golf carts are being used by reviewing past activities and performance metrics.

Hapn is a software development company that provides GPS solutions for small, medium, and enterprise businesses across various industries. Hapn’s GPS solution helps businesses track their most important assets – anytime, anywhere – with features such as live tracking, smart boundaries, alerts and notifications, follow mode, time machine, and directions.

“The bottom line is knowledge is power, and that knowledge of where our resources are is the key to our success –so we can make sure everyone participating in the race is safe and supported. We know we can rely on the device. It works well and can get us to where we need to be for a quick emergency response. That’s really the success,”


By using Hapn’s GPS tracking solution, the Illinois Marathon has improved its prehospital care and performance in several ways:

  • Reduced response time for medical emergencies by locating leads and tails faster and more accurately;
  • Increased customer satisfaction and retention by ensuring the safety and well-being of every participant;
  • Saved on insurance costs by protecting golf carts against theft and misuse;
  • Optimized resource allocation and efficiency by monitoring golf cart usage and performance;
  • Enhanced event planning and management by gaining insights into asset movement patterns.

The Illinois Marathon has been using Hapn’s GPS tracking solution since 2019 and plans to continue using it for future events.

“Hapn meets our needs very efficiently. And the customer service is fantastic. They have truly gone above and beyond for us this year and helped us get set up.”

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