How we built the WalkFast. DrinkSlow. SpeakEasy. race

We were offered some free tickets to this great event called Whisky Live Manila to be held in a few weeks’ time. So what do we do? Make a race for it, of course!

Since it is an event that promotes a hard liquor, the relevant places would be bars and liquor stores. We decided to choose hidden bars, so called Speakeasy bars, as the theme of this race.

We knew four of such places, and lucky for us, they are located more than 500 meters from each other. We could not choose locations that were too close to each other, else there would be not much walking required. We wanted people to exercise, at least a little, between the stops. Also, some icons of the race features could overlap on the screen and cause confusion for the runners, although in the end, we did not put that many features in the race.

We then worked out the route and sequence of the stops, so that runners would not feel that they were going back and forth.

Finally, we decided on the clues and the features. We wanted to have clues that were not too difficult or too easy to figure out. Since picture tells a thousand words, we added an image for one of the clues. We also added questions to some of the stops for fun. We wanted runners to look for answers by observing the environment. Thus some questions were related to the location, while one question was about alcoholic drinks.

Coins are a good feature to add. They are not challenging, as they are displayed without the need to figure anything out. Hence, they can be used to guide runners to a stop. If a runner passes a coin, a ka-ching sound will be heard (unfortunately the sound is not that loud in an outdoor environment, so most runners probably won’t be able to hear it). We placed a couple of coins in a stop.

We also used the footprint feature for one of the stops. Similar to the gold coins, footprints can be used to guide runners to the next stop in a fun way. Unlike coins, however, footprints only appear one after another, i.e. only one footprint will be shown at one time. When the runner arrives at the first footprint, the next footprint will appear on the runner’s screen.

We did an actual test run to check the location of the stops, and adjusted the stop geolocations when we found that one or two of the stops did not get triggered easily.

All in all, it took us a few hours to build the race on the computer including editing a photo for one of the clues, and a few more hours to test it on site and refine it. If we were not familiar with the neighborhood where the race will be held, it probably would have taken a little bit more time. Building a race is in itself a fun activity that one can do with a group of friends or family, as long as none of the race designers are expected to take part in the race, especially if it is a race that has prizes!

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