Putting A Safer Spring In Their Step
In October 2020, Lifestyle Communities, a network of independent living communities across Victoria, wanted to organise the “Spring In Your Step” Wellness Walkathon.
The event and challenge was relatively simple. All the participating homeowners aimed to walk as many laps as possible of a 1km course over 3 Spring days, keeping two goals in mind:
Being and staying more active, which walking was an easy way to do
Raising as much money as they could for mental health charity Beyond Blue
There Was Just One Big Problem COVID-19.
While Melbourne was coming to the end of its marathon lockdown, that didn’t mean restrictions were going to suddenly end.
With tight limits on gatherings, Lifestyle Communities had to adopt a different approach to the usual “crowd”-style walking event. They still wanted people out and about where possible, but needed to protect them and follow COVID-safe limits.
There were two smaller problems to tackle as well.
Since no timing expert could be on-site at the event, timing equipment would have to be simple enough that the organiser could set it up themselves and work accurately with almost no configuration or maintenance.
Secondly, because Lifestyle Communities was a network of 14 villages stretched across the state, each village needed a way to track their own participants.
With all these factors, typical timing equipment wasn’t going to do the job for the Walkathon.
Walking For Wellness… In Their Own Time
After getting in touch with Aaron at Event Timing, the organisers knew they’d found a solution: the RACE RESULT Track Box.
The timing devices ticked all the boxes:
They let the villages record laps for each participant, even though they would have to stay dispersed over the 3-day event
Each Track Box box could be set up by the Walkathon coordinator in each village wherever they wanted and without an expert helping them
Each of the 14 villages could get their own box to track whoever was participating
And that’s exactly what happened. Over the 3 days the Walkathon ran, over 1,000 villagers took part in their local event, each equipped with a Track Box and bibs to track laps.
What Track Boxes Saw
These are a few of the stats that the Track Boxes captured at the Lifestyle Communities villages...
All up, participants walked 8,462 kms, which is the same distance as walking from Melbourne to Broome… and then back again
The winner was Lifestyle Ocean Grove, whose participants walked 1,054 laps at an average of 11.3 laps per person
Lifestyle Shepparton had the highest number of participants, with 114 homeowners walking the course.
2 homeowners tied in the most laps walked at 63 laps each - or 21 kms per day.
A Huge Success
"Lifestyle Communities are over 50s independent living communities located across Victoria. The health and wellbeing of our homeowners is always front of mind and we are constantly looking for initiatives to actively engage homeowners.
During the Covid-19 pandemic this has proven to be extremely difficult. Lifestyle Communities used the ‘remote timing’ services and products to hold a walkathon event in October 2020. This unique event was made possible by the portable track boxes that were used as the start/finish line of our courses.
After the 3 day event a total of 8,462kms were walked and we also raised over $10,000 for the charity Beyond Blue. This COVID-safe event was a huge success and created a great competitive buzz around our communities. Homeowners are already looking forward to the next walkathon to see who will be crowned champion community of 2021."
Sports and Experience Coordinator