When the pandemic hit, D3 Solutions, a pioneering local race organiser and printer, did not want serious athletes to be left in the lurch. At the cost of $150,000, they made the D3_VR app, a platform for runners and cyclists to clock their times and distances.
The virtual race platform uses GPS to record distance and, crucially, advanced analytics to determine if a participant is “cheating”, for example by taking a bus.
This element of accountability is what makes the D3_VR the first race app of its kind locally – it allowed true competition even before mass sporting events were allowed.
Said Mr Zubinn Tan from D3 Solutions, “Once we developed the app we offered it to some traditional event partners who declined as they did not want to be the first to try it. So we overcame it by launching a few events ourselves, so far 5, 10,15km runs and a round-island cycling event. These have recently concluded and we’ve even held our own marathon, the Niu Year Runfastic Marathon.”
By using the app and running, even alone, athletes can participate in various races. At present, the platform is being used for SAFRA ExploreSG, a series of 6km runs around the island that will continue till the end of April. It is also used by schools for cross country and IPPT.
Said Mr Tan, “The most rewarding thing is that we have nearly 150,000km logged by users of the app over a few events, so it is definitely working. The more distance we record, the more confidence I have.”