Geeks Take Over Streets in First Ever Amazing Toronto Tech Race

The first annual Amazing Toronto Tech Race wrapped up on Saturday with over 100 participants from the Toronto digital and tech community running around the city vying for bragging rights of being first place winners at this inaugural networking event.

Inspired by the popular television show “The Amazing Race,” the event was hosted by entrepreneur connecter North of 41 to bring the Toronto tech community together and engage them with the city, technology and each other in a fun and interactive manner.

The sold out race saw over 100 contestants race around the city to participate in over 15 challenges which were designed to use many digital platforms including smartphones, social media and gaming. Checkpoints were placed around the city with the start of the race appropriately beginning at the MaRS building “where all kinds of people meet to spark new ideas.”

One of the most memorable challenges from the race was from digital services studio, Brushfire North, located in the tech hub of Liberty Village. The Microsoft Kinect based checkpoint required participants to use voice and gesture commands to re-enact a Canadian themed photo (CN Tower, Toronto Skyline, the Prairies) and upload it to the company’s Facebook page as proof of completion. 

The winners of the race finished nearly one hour before their closest competitors and attributed their success to a combination of strategy, luck and, of course, use of their smartphones. The team was made up of technology specialists from Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP, and application designers from CIBC Wealth Management.

“Our team jumped at the chance to do the Amazing Toronto Tech Race primarily for the challenge and adventure in the context of building technology contacts and resources,” winner Melanie Crutchley told Techvibes. “All of us are technology specialists with entrepreneurial spirits and were happy to participate in an event involving MaRS and other technology-focused companies and organizations. The bragging rights and prizes were good incentives too.”

The four-person team called “Hello World” selected this name as homage to the programming tradition to mark writing of the first piece of code. “I wanted the geekiest name that also wasn’t too obscure,” explained Melanie.

Proceeds of the race went to the Global Artisan Technology group which provides thousands of artisans and micro-entrepreneurs in their global network with technology and business skills and resources to help them grow their micro-businesses and better their local communities.

For those of you who were unable to make it to the race this year, or for those that are dying for a second shot at the title you’re in luck. North of 41 told Techvibes that due to the overwhelming success seen from this year’s event, the Amazing Tech Race will be back again next year.