How to update your Facebook status while running the Boston Marathon – without ever touching your phone

I may be a geek, but on marathon day, running trumps tech, and I’m sure not going to be fiddling with a phone, sending status updates or tweeting during a race.  Still, it occurred to me this week that there ought to be a way to get the Boston Marathon AT&T Athlete Alert system that provides email or text message updates at certain stages of the Boston Marathon to automatically update one’s Facebook status, while the phone stays stuffed in the gym bag where it belongs.

I tried it tonight by logging into the Athlete Alert admin and entering my bib number, choosing “Internet email” as the provider, and using the custom “upload by email” link Facebook provides each user on its mobile services page.

It seemed to work: the Athlete Alert system sent a test message and registered a status of “confirmed” in the admin. And the test email posted itself to my Facebook page as a status update.

So while I have yet to see it work during the race itself, it seems like it ought to update my Facebook status at the 10K, half marathon, 30K and finish.  Let me know if you think of any reasons why it wouldn’t, or a better way to do this. I’m sure somebody will also figure out a way to do Twitter, etc.

UPDATE: Well, I think this would have worked, but unfortunately the whole Athlete Alert system went down during the marathon today.  From the BAA site: “The Boston Marathon would like to apologize to all who signed up for this year’s Athlete Alert Program. The BAA experienced an internal technical problem which prevented accurate athlete information from being sent to the proper email addresses and mobile phone numbers.”  Ah well, such is technology; I’ll try it again next time.

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