RandomRace or «smart» balloon hunt

An adventurous RandomRace with air balloonsAre you keen on innovative technologies? Do you strive for adrenaline and adventures? And what about fresh air? If your answer is yes to all the questions, this news is right for you. From now on adventure travellers have a chance to combine orienteering with GPS technologies. I’m talking about a new entertainment called RandomRace, which proved that telematics sphere is not so boring as it seems, and sometimes telematics solutions can find rather unexpected application.

RandomRace is an adventurous race, with the main purpose to find GPS trackers, randomly distributed across the open territory. And I’m glad to mention that the initiative of this unique project was supported by our partners: Global Position (provided GPS tracking services), and EuroMobile (provided personal GPS trackers). RandomRace project is a great example, how to use latest IT solutions in sport. It’s easy just to sit still, concentrating on your tablet PC or smartphone. And how about running, are you ready? Let’s start from the very beginning.

The teams gather in a pre-arranged place. RandomRace organizers launch quite a number of balloons in the air. Every balloon contains GPS tracker and helium. For several hours the trackers (here also referred to as «Control Points») are flying in the air, successfully gone with the wind, and the teams try to foresee their direction. Then the balloons burst and Control Points, equipped with parachutes, land. Finally the race starts.

All the team members have GPS navigation devices, defining the landed trackers location. The challenge is to find as many Control Points as possible. Seems easy? Yes, but take into account that trackers won’t magically fly right under your feet. The truth is that participants sometimes have to climb a tree or even dive into the lake. RandomRace becomes even more intriguing due to the fact that GPS navigators also track competitors’ movement. When the enemy snaps at your heels, it will definitely give you the second wind! After gathering all the possible Control Points, the team has to return to the finish line, where the winner is announced.

RandomRace debut took place on October 26 at Karelian Isthmus, Leningrad region. As usual for the first-timers, there were several unexpected surprises. Not all the balloons managed to get off the ground, not all of them survived. But luckily, it had no any impact on the overall mood of the race, which was excellent.



The teams went through fire and water: searching for the Control Points the sportsmen had to cross the moor, dive into the lake and climb high trees. Fortunately, all the team members were well-prepared for these obstacles: they used mountaineering equipment, boats, flashlights, radiosets, water boots and, of cause, various electronic gadgets – tablet PCs, laptops, navigation devices and smartphones. The organizers even recommended to grab foreign passports, in case if the balloons fly to the neighboring Finland. All-in-all, RandomRace opening showed that the contest has brilliant prospects and attracts lots of active people. By the way, this race is open for everyone: children, adults and even grannies and gramps.

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