The Great Race, which hosts multiple city scavenger hunts, is now being powered by an Ayogo mobile web application. In a bid to get people active and healthier, Great Race contestants will compete in teams to find clues that lead to locations around their city. Once they figure out the clues and find the check-in codes, they will be given bonus challenges for more points. Along the five-mile course, the Great Racers will discover an abundance of public spaces their city to have fun, kick the ball around, or relax and enjoy the fresh air.
“Exercise doesn’t have to be tedious,” asserts Alyssa Jongsma, Co-Founder and CEO of The Great Race. “We intend to show people where they can lead active lifestyles outside, naturally and enjoyably. Going for walks after dinner, biking to work or spending a Saturday with family at the riverfront are not tedious things to do! They are simple lifestyle choices that can have great impact on keeping active and preventing diseases like Type 2 Diabetes.”
Jongsma, along with Great Race Co-Founder, Jennifer Chong, were semifinalists in an Innovation Challenge run by Sanofi-aventis. While the idea for the race was developed for the 2011 Data Design Diabetes Innovation Challenge, her inspiration came from watching her dad pull a 180 degree lifestyle change after being diagnosed with early onset Type 2 diabetes a couple years earlier.
The first (beta) race, held last year, was a fairly low-tech affair with paper clues, and check-ins done via SMS. This year’s Great Race will be powered by a mobile web app built by Ayogo.
“The app allows players to see all the important data they need, such as when and where the race starts, the clues, the challenges, the timer and their points,” says Anat Rabkin, the app’s Producer. “But because the race appeals to people of all walks of life, older phones also needed to be considered so we implemented a SMS (text-message) system, which allows people with simple mobile phones to play the game by texting in their answers and receiving all the information in condensed texts. All they need to do is learn the simple text commands, such as ‘checkin’ or ‘clue’, to get to playing.”
The first official Great Race is tomorrow, June 9th in Philadelphia.
“We’re really excited about its inauguration,” Jongsma enthuses, “and so far, the weather looks cooperative. We think it’s going to be the beginning of a lot of Great Races to come!”
We think so too.
If you’re in Philly and looking for an excuse to rediscover your city while getting out for some exercise, check out The Great Race!
If you have any questions, please give me a shout: firstname.lastname@example.org