A low-cost sensor applied to microclimate monitoring of marathon courses in Hong Kong

Document Type


Source Publication

The 8th International Conference on Urban Climates (ICUC8)

Publication Date



International Association for Urban Climate


marathon, microclimatic monitoring, GIS


Annually, more than 500 marathons with competitors ranging from elite marathon runners to recreational athletes are contested worldwide. With the increase in the popularity of marathons, more literature is now available regarding the effect of weather conditions on marathon runners. Most of this research has been based on statistical analysis of past marathon data e.g. quantifying the effect of weather conditions on performance or records of the runners. There is, however, a lack of research into the environmental dynamics of different marathon course terrains and environment conditions that may adversely impact thermo-bioclimatic conditions experienced by the marathon runners.

This paper details a study of monitoring the dynamics and the microclimate along the route of the popular Hong Kong Standard Chartered Marathon. The event route is confined to the Hong Kong urban area, passes through various types of urban morphology and topography, from commercial areas to harbour tunnels, to bridges. Small and durable temperature/humidity loggers were deployed at strategic locations along the route to measuring air temperature/relative humidity in one minute intervals. With the aid of GIS, minutely collected measurements were geographically mapped to the sampled locations with terrain profile incorporated and further correlated with respective environmental conditions for analysis in the means of spatial and dynamic aspects. This empirical study, with the integration of GIS, allowed for the identification of hotspots and interrelations of various environmental attributes that may impact the microclimate of marathon courses. In addition, any challenges and unfavorable conditions that may impact marathon runners along the race route are discussed.

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Recommended Citation

Wong, P., Hart, M., & Lai, P.-C. (2012, August). A low-cost sensor applied to microclimate monitoring of marathon courses in Hong Kong. Paper presented at the 8th International Conference on Urban Climates (ICUC8), Dublin Ireland.