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Brief Published: 9 May 2018

AR Urban Exploration Race

District participants navigate checkpoints by following the race's app on their phone

Asian sports events consultancy Exceed and Australian experiential agency Lightweave have organised District – an urban exploration race that combines augmented reality (AR) and location-based technologies.

The District race has no set route or distance, but participants have only two hours to navigate through 80 checkpoints and challenges – this time spread around Hong Kong's eight districts. Each district will have challenges themed according to its unique character in order to help participants discover the city and learn about each area.

Runners have to use the accompanying app that will follow their location, guide them to checkpoints and reveal the challenges they need to complete, such as a quiz that tests players' knowledge of the neighbourhood, or running round the block in under a minute. Points are awarded whenever a racer reaches their destination and when they complete a challenge, and increase based on their distance from the race's starting point.

The app offers a gamified experience, as players can keep track of their ranking by checking the live leader board and become further motivated by competing against their friends. Those who complete the race receive an AR-enabled finisher medal.

The first District race took place in Singapore on March 3 and the Hong Kong race is scheduled for May 13, costing HK$450 ($57) to participate. The organisers expect to launch the race in the US, Australia and Europe later this year.

For more on consumers' desire for urban adventures and extreme experiences, see our Active Lives Macro Trend.