Students help with CBS spotters

By Sarah Taylor

The 110th Boston Marathon hit the ground running Sunday, and five Northeastern students were right in the thick of the action.

The students teamed up with CBS4 News and TRACS Inc., a sports marketing and event management firm, as part of the Spotters’ Network. The Spotters’ Network, a division of TRACS Inc., provides CBS4 with extensive, live coverage of the Boston Marathon.

“I just wanted to be part of the marathon. It’s one of the biggest things in Boston,” said sophomore communications major Devra Glynn, her voice hoarse from the day’s excitement. “My cousin was in the race, so it was awesome watching her run by, and when Team Hoyt ran by that was really emotional.”

Glynn said her friend had previously done a co-op with TRACS Inc., and when the opportunity came to volunteer as part of the Spotters’ Network, she wanted to participate.

This year 100 students volunteered with the Spotters’ Network, including Northeastern students and many students from local high schools who took an active part in tracking the runners and race statistics on the marathon trail.

Northeastern alumnus Greg Lutz said participants got video clips of the top athletes and their race times so CBS4 could get live, up-to-date information on the air. Glynn was stationed at the 25-mile marker on Beacon Street.

“We had a set of binoculars and a phone. … After seeing the first five wheelchairs, first five men and first five women … we’d call CBS,” said Lutz, who worked in the pressroom near the finish line, and passed the statistics from the Spotters’ Network callers to the on-air talent, who then reported it.

This was the third year Lutz participated, and the person he was rooting for won the men’s race.

“Robert Cheruiyot broke the record,” Lutz said. “I really got to know him and when he broke the record, that was my favorite moment of the day.”

Coordinator Fred Treseler created TRACS’ Race SpotWatch, collaborating with CBS4 Sports Director Bob Lobel. The program has been going strong for 20 years.

“I’ve always been interested in the marathon and this is pretty much as hands-on as you can get,” Lutz said. “It’s very intense, but at the same time you can sit back after and see what you did. It’s definitely worth it.”

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