Maintaining one’s health during this challenging time has not been easy, especially in the past six months where various movement control orders were put in place due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases. It is undeniable that the COVID-19 pandemic has put a hold on many things, with mass participation events being one of them.
Adapting to the various challenges caused by the pandemic, District Race Malaysia by AIA Vitality rose to the occasion and made a return as an augmented reality event by providing a digitally engaging and fun urban exploration experience. This year’s event was made even more attractive as participation was free and made available nationwide. This gave equal opportunities for runners across Malaysia to participate in the event.
District Race Malaysia by AIA Vitality was launched on 1 March 2021, providing users with a fun way to lead an active life to stay happy and healthy during these trying times. The 4-month long event became an instant hit with avid casual runners in Malaysia; including non-runners who just enjoyed casual walks. The event has managed to exceed its initial target of 10,000 sign-ups, with over 11,000 participants registered on the District app, all vying for the opportunity to take home the grand prize, the brand new Proton X50.
One of the contributing factors to the overwhelming response was the flexibility of participation – making it easy for runners to choose the when, where and how of their participation. The District app was enhanced to be even more user-friendly – by simply stepping out of the house, switching on the app, pressing start and navigating their journey towards checkpoints to earn points. With no set route or distance and checkpoints made available everywhere, explorers were able to create their own strategy and choose how they wanted to explore. Whether by walking or running, everyone got to participate at their own pace.
Participants were also able to link their GPS supported wearable devices to the District app and earn points for any walking or running activities. The points collected on the wearable were then credited towards the overall leaderboard. The prizes up for grabs via lucky draw included over 40 items such as Garmin watches and adidas gear, as well as a brand-new Proton X50, which undoubtedly was the main attraction.
Josh Tendler, Head of Marketing, District Technologies said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has affected many planned events worldwide, and mass participation events especially are not excused. The event cancellation is definitely felt by runners everywhere. That is why we decided to do a digital race for this year. What the digital event lacks in the physical interactions, it makes up for in flexibility. Participants get to choose how and when to do the race at their convenience, while collecting points, being healthy, and unlocking Augmented Reality selfie filters. In my opinion, one of the silver linings of the pandemic is we now found new ways to connect with our loved ones, others around the community, either by staying active together or just enjoy their companion through virtual interactions and reaching collective goals together. We would like to thank AIA for helping to make District Race’s vision in providing an engaging and fun urban exploration experience a reality as well as their support for the second year in a row.”
Heng Zee Wang, Chief Marketing Officer, AIA Bhd. said, “I would like to congratulate the winners and the participants of District Race Malaysia by AIA Vitality for their amazing achievements despite the current circumstances. We hope that this event has inspired Malaysians from all walks of life to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle during these challenging times. We would like to express our appreciation to District Technologies for successfully executing a digital event that benefitted many Malaysians and we look forward to supporting many more exciting initiatives like this as part of our efforts to help people achieve Healthier, Longer, Better Lives.”
Chong Zee Min emerged as the lucky winner to bring home the most coveted prize; the all-new and free Proton X50. Participants received 1 entry to the lucky draw for every activity of over 2,000+ points in the District app.
Chong was surprised when she learned of the news. “The event itself inspired me most as it turns exercising into a fun and unique experience while exploring many different and interesting areas of my city that I would have otherwise missed out. I am thrilled have won the grand prize, a brand new Proton X50. Such an unexpected sweet surprise! This is a massive bonus coupled with a sense of achievement. I am truly delighted!” said Chong, 31, from Penang.
Amongst the other prizes presented were Garmin watches and adidas merchandise to the Top 3 Overall Male and Female Champions, as well as merchandise packs to the Biggest Team Overall.
For Overall Male, the first place was taken by Jimmy Lim, taking home the Garmin Fenix Watch, followed by Chew Soon Yong in second place and Yew Hoe Liew in third place, winning them the RM 1,000 and RM 500 adidas vouchers respectively.
For Overall Female, the Garmin Fenix Watch was won by first placed Lynn Ooi, followed by Ooi Ai Lyn in second place and Teoh Seow Sian in third place, also taking home the RM 1,000 and RM 500 adidas vouchers respectively.
The Biggest Overall Team, AIA District Family, with a total of 40 members, took home free merchandise packs for each member.
District Race Malaysia by AIA Vitality also hosted a series of campaigns throughout the 4-month long event to give runners more reasons to participate. In conjunction with Ramadan this year, the Get Fit For Charity campaign was conducted, rallying runners across Malaysia to come together in solidarity for the National Cancer Society Malaysia (NCSM). The challenge was to collectively hit the goal of 5,000,000 points, with AIA committing to donate RM1 for every 100 points scored during the campaign period. While the challenge was set for 12 April – 16 May 2021, the target was met well ahead of time, hitting the overall goal by 4 May 2021. Thanks to the collective efforts of the runners, the charity engagement was an overwhelming success with RM 50,000.00 raised and donated to NCSM.
Besides collecting points for the charity, the Top Average Team Score Challenge was also conducted to incentivize runners to keep their points rolling. Team Sonic took home RM10,000.00 cash after accumulating an average of 289,000+ points per team member.
In June 2021, the Social Media Contest went live, asking users to post a photo, video or story to their Facebook or Instagram taking part in District Race Malaysia by AIA Vitality, along with proof of an activity of at least 2,000 points. The lucky winners were chosen based on their creativity and walked away with prizes such as Garmin watches, adidas vouchers, and Garmin merchandise packs.