Winnipeg. March 22, 2018 – It was the tale of two cities brought together recently by technology and a passion for going the extra mile – literally. On Saturday March 17, 2018, Winnipeg, Canada and Colombo, Sri Lanka competed in the first ever ‘Twin City 5K Run’ where the two cities held a real time 5K race, that had runners in both places testing their athletic prowess against each other.
Dubbed ‘Two Cities, Two Routes, One Hope’, it was the world’s first ever simultaneous 5K race held between two cities, that kicked off in Colombo at 6:30 pm and from Winnipeg’s Assinboine Park at 8 am In real-time athletes competed against each other on two different continents, 13,500 km apart. The ‘Twin City 5K Run’ helped to raise both awareness and funds to inspire hope for children with heart disease and other critical illnesses, hence the monies raised were donated to The Little Hearts in Sri Lanka and the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba.
Competitors who participated simply registered via the RaceRunner app or on the RaceRunner web site beforehand. Through the use of the new state of the art RaceRunner app that was developed in Winnipeg, the technology tracked each athlete competing in the virtual race between two cities, though participants were racing miles apart.
The app tracked their distance through GPS and cellular signal which allowed them to stay connected with each other. While running they had access to a voice system that informed them of exactly how many metres before or behind them the other competitor was, so the runner knew his position in the race and therefore knew when to increase or decelerate speed, if so desired. The voice system also acted as a navigation guide while running the race.
Though the main competition was between Winnipeg and Colombo, other athletes from elsewhere in the world were invited to join and race for charity. In the end the organizers were proud to announce that they raised over USD $1,900 towards both worthy causes.