Saturday, November 7, 2015

Endomondo's Earn Your Armour 4 Malaysia challenge

Basically, I am a slob...

The only time I have ever competed with other people was in secondary school.
I was in the athletics team and was never considered as a front-runner.
On the field, I sat mostly on the bench.
That said, I never took things seriously.
My achievement as a teenager was holding the 4x400 meters relay record for the under-13 category.
As the third-runner, I ran like a hell out of bat and passed the baton to Lazak Othman, the anchor runner who took us into the book of history. That was my claim to fame.
Most of my adult life, I was on the sideline, letting people pass so that they could win.

Me, on the far left, in my late teens
I don't see the need to compete because I was never driven by ego or the urge to succeed.
So, to sum it up, I led a sedentary lifestyle for more than 30 years.

In comes the challenge....

After 30 days, the results of the Under Armour Challenge was announced...
I used the Endomondo sports tracking app on my Xiaomi Mi4i smartphone to track my walks.
On the average, I walk about 10km a day.
To motivate myself, I participate in walking challenges. And at the end of 30 days, I managed to earn a decent ranking. 
Endomondo also notifies it's users on challenges with prizes and the fourth installment of the "Earn Your Armour" challenge has some really cool prizes. Under Armour vouchers, a goodie bag and a Jabra Sports Coach wireless headset was the ultimate prize.

Clocking-in the workout 
The person with the longest time in their daily workout wins.
All you need to do is to turn on the Endomondo app, track your workout and time.
I walked at least two hours a day and when I accepted the challenge, I was right on top of the list.
Initially, there were less than 300 people taking part. Nearly two-thirds were dormant participants.
My closest competitor was a 56-year-old dude by the name of Mr Yean.
The guy walks about 10km a day and when the competition entered it's 15th day, another guy overtook him.

Desperate people...

In the sporting world, people cheat.
They claim the prize and bask in the glory while the cheating lasts and live to regret it someday.
I find it funny that some meathead who came out of nowhere had overtaken the middle-aged dude and some guy with a funny Japanese name to chalk up the rank. 
He came in at number 2.
In my case, I walked regardless of the haze. For 29 days, I stayed on top. 

The last day

Mr meathead was determined to clinch the Jabra headset and Under Armour vouchers.
That didn't matter to me.
What's important was I didn't cheat. I clocked-in an honest day's work.
The rules clearly state that only GPS-tracked workouts are accepted.
The meathead entered "pilates", "yoga", "weight training" in his workouts to chalk in the extra hours.
I walked my last 5km to finish the challenge on the last day. In the last 30 days, I had fun and who would have thought a slob could beat 604 other people by merely walking?
When the results were out, I came in second. I lost to the "better" man by 20-minutes.

And finally, the truth prevails...

I accepted the results and concede to defeat.
For 30 days, I worked out and lost even more weight.
Then, an email arrived, and on the message, I was announced as the winner of the "Earn Your Armour 4" challenge.
I wasn't surprised at all. 
Mr meathead was forfeited for logging in fake workouts.
A couple of weeks later, I claimed my prize and shared it with my wife.

Hanging out at the Under Armour boutique in Mid Valley Megamall

The UA vouchers

With my loot
The challenge experience was very interesting.
Some people did the right thing by being honest.
The cheats, well, they will try again by any other means.
I was told by an Under Armour representative that most of the past winners were cyclists.
"You are the only person who clocked in so many hours just by walking," she said.
I guess she was also pretty surprised to see an average guy winning the challenge instead of the usual hulking meathead...