Avtex, Local Nonprofit Create Athlete-Tracker Tech.

The new notification service can track marathoners and provide real-time progress updates to friends and family via text message.

Local IT company Avtex Solutions, LLC, and nonprofit Twin Cities In Motion (TCM) have partnered to create a text-based notification service that can track the progress of an individual runner on race days.

The Athlete Tracker service will be available at no cost to participants of Sunday's Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon and the Medtronic TC 10 Mile race-which are organized by TCM.

Athletes who take advantage of the service can be tracked by friends and family members who will receive real-time progress updates via text message. Updates will include runners' start and finish as well as progress notifications throughout the run as athletes cross strategically positioned timing mats along the course.

Avtex and TCM said that more than 2,500 athletes have signed up to use the tracking service. About 20,000 people are anticipated to run in the races.

“New technology solutions from innovative companies like Avtex allows us to offer a more contemporary race experience,” Virginia Brophy Achman, executive director of TCM, said in a statement. “With Athlete Tracker, we are able to extend the thrill of the race to a broader audience, giving them more visibility while supporting the runner with a more aware and participatory fan base.”

Minneapolis-based Avtex provides call center software and tools that integrate traditional phone systems and digital modes of communication. It has offices in Minneapolis; Appleton, Wisconsin; Des Moines, Iowa; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Atlanta, Georgia.

St. Paul-based Twin Cities In Motion organizes more than a dozen running events in the metro area throughout the year.