Who would have thought that using video would be a vital ingredient to helping six amateur athletes achieve their 777 goal, to run seven marathons on seven continents in seven days.
The physical challenge was obvious. Simply writing about running 42.2 km on a different continent every day for seven consecutive days is exhausting. But for these six athletes it was a reality as they aimed to accomplish what very few people have done in order to raise money to help disabled children.
The challenge was to start the run in Antarctica, ending on the other side of the world in Sydney 7 days later. On the way, they would run in South America (Punta Arenas), North America (Houston), Europe (London), Africa (Cairo), and Asia (Singapore).
The training and physical preparation started 6 months prior to the event. The logistical planning, however, started even earlier. Being able to run a marathon a day on separate continents was an obvious logistical endeavour.
It was vital for the team to create a journey round the world which maximised the time they had on the ground and minimised wasted time in transit and on airplanes. Hence several permutations of possible routes were discussed. This, combined with the cost of airline tickets was the first major topic of discussion.
Once locations were decided, it was necessary to find flights that gave the team a minimum of 10 hours on each continent. This was the time necessary in order to land, clear customs, get to the race start, run a marathon, shower, get back to the airport and leave with a little time included for potential delays.
With this all agreed, the next major topic was the marathons themselves. Where should each race be run? As the individuals in question were living in London, Singapore and Sydney the long distances and time zones were a barrier to the planning. Some of the team members only actually met each other for the first time, physically, at the start line of the first marathon in Antarctica.
This is where the Videxio cloud videoconferencing service provided a solution which became indispensable to the team. Using software clients provided by Videxio, team members were are able to join together in a virtual meeting room fusing videoconferencing systems or computers, depending on what they had available. The team were then able to meet every Friday for a planning call.
The global network which is dedicated purely to video meant that the quality of this call was excellent. And with the presentation sharing capabilities, planning was made easier and decisions were made in real time with the consent of the whole group.
Without Videxio’s cloud conferencing service, the frequency of these meetings would have diminished whilst the cost of doing so would have increased. Decision making would have taken longer and it’s not certain that the team would have felt the same camaradary and team spirit as they did when they started on their endeavour.
The 777 trip was a success, two charities benefited from the effort of the team and those who supported them and the athletes accomplished a feat that has given them memories that will be with them for the rest of their lives.
Although this was a one-off project, it is a good example of how cloud video conferencing is indispensable to managing any logistically complex planning process.