The power of the human spirit never ceases to amaze me and especially so in these unprecedented times of social distancing, face masks, holiday travel corridors and national lock downs. And yet, while everything around us is making it harder to do what we want to do each day people are able to quickly adapt and make the best of it.
On Sunday 4th October over 36,000 people ran a COVID affected London Marathon. Elite athletes ran laps around an adapted ‘bio-secure’ version of the course and everyone else was forced to improvise their own course wherever they could and log their progress via an app. Despite not being able to run past the landmarks of London, nor cheered on by crowds of thousands on a day much colder and wetter than the usual spring conditions runners turned the day into a huge success and the biggest virtual marathon in history.
Across the web successes were shared, millions of pounds were raised for charities, and photos appeared of lonely Rhinos running through Cornwall or people dressed as birthday cakes wading through flooded roads.
People, supported by technology, won the day and ensured a ‘normal’ outcome for the run in such abnormal conditions.
At ALL IN, we believe in using technology to help people get together and see the current climate as a challenge to help us make a better product for everyone. Since we launched our prototype a few weeks ago we’ve started to gain hundreds of users who are repeatedly using the app to help get their groups together. Autumn saw the internet flooded with pictures of students across the UK forced into lockdown due to outbreaks of COVID or restricted by only being allowed to meet up in groups no larger than six.
We’ve been working with the University of Birmingham and Oxford Brookes Rugby Club to develop ways that ALL IN can help them get together. One key challenge has been the rule of 6. How do you allow first years to make friends for life outside of their household when everyone is restricted by bubbles? In response, we’ve developed a simple way for University clubs and societies to create simple events and randomly group those that can attend to enable them to meet new people. Some clubs have hundreds of members and yet ALL IN ensures attendees can set their status and be sorted into groups in seconds.
Easier for organisers, easier for people who want to get together.
As we move into the second phase of lockdown in the UK we would love to hear more about what would help you as we come out the other side of this. What have you found challenging about meeting up with friends since the first lockdown? What solutions have worked well?
Photo credit to UK Fundraising:https://fundraising.co.uk/2020/10/05/virgin-money-london-marathon-runners-raise-more-than-16-1m-for-charity/