Unleashing the Power of Virtual Fitness: The Inspiring Journey of HDOR (Hundred Days Of Running

CXOToday has engaged in an exclusive interview with Mayank Gupta, co-founder, HDOR

  1. Can you tell us about the inception and evolution of HDOR (Hundred Days Of Running)? What inspired you to start this virtual fitness challenge platform?
  • Any form of fitness exercises requires motivation as a fuel. The more early you are in your fitness journey the more fuel aka motivation you need. In the summer of 2015, we were forced to acknowledge that although running together with friends is a great source of motivation, it is not always feasible for people to be available at a specific time and place to go for a run or ride together. The larger the group becomes the lesser is the probability of all group members to be together. Different circumstances and different commitments especially in this busy lifestyle.
  • Our solution was to give flexibility with virtual events without leaving the essence of togetherness by collecting data using apps and placing everyone on a virtual leaderboard. Virtual leaderboards will showcase how your friends ran today and also how other runners are doing. We created our first virtual event for ourselves to participate in but soon the fun was so contagious that communities from across the nation started to join in.

2. As the world’s largest virtual platform for fitness challenges, HDOR has attracted over 100,000 participants globally. What factors do you believe have contributed to this remarkable success?

Two major factors which we think contributed most towards the success are

  • Social connect: We are all social . We like group activities and an event because its virtual should not rob the fun of a social activity. We connected people on a virtual leaderboard . This leaderboard is a huge spread if you look at it . You get your standing in your group, between running groups, across cities, across states, gender, corporate , age group  and so on. You can identify yourself as a member of a group, resident of a society, citizen of a state or representative of people of a certain age group. This give huge social value and a deep sense of community.
  • It is perfect for starters. Our event gives platform to challenge your self mentally. As a virtual event we have flexibility of making our events span across multiple days. Leveraging this we could embed factors which inculcate consistency like run everyday for a minimum of 2 km. 2 km is a meager and very achievable target but doing this consistency will surely result in great improvements in fitness level.

3. How does HDOR ensure engaging and rewarding experiences for participants? Can you elaborate on the seamless data submission process and the role of the dedicated mobile app?

  • Instant gratification is triggered using personal dashboards and leaderboards. One gets an instant dopamine rush the moment they see that their present run has moved their rank in their age group by 2 or their run has pushed their group’s ranking by 5 or simply by noticing that day before yesterday they were hardly making half the distance in the same time.
  • We therefore take special care in the data submissions mechanisms on our app and website. During our peak time in our event data from thousands of runners are imported continuously across the clock. We use top notch technology solutions to ensure best in class user experience

4. Convenience and flexibility are key aspects of HDOR’s approach. How does the platform empower individuals to incorporate fitness into their daily lives, regardless of their location or schedule?

  • Inspiration of virtual fitness challenge platforms stems with ever increasing importance of fitness in our daily life and ever increasing commitments. Commitments with family, social or professional life leaves little room for daily fitness. Virtual fitness provides much needed flexibility and motivation which helps you manage your fitness habits without compromising on your commitments. You can in a different city, country or even at an airport, you can quickly switch on activity on your smart watch and data will be recorded on a leaderboard. You do not have to be at a specific location on a specific time to participate in a virtual event which I think nullifies all reasons for not performing a fitness activity in a day

5. The live fitness dashboard and community comparison feature seem to foster a sense of camaraderie among participants. Could you share more about how these elements contribute to the overall experience?

  • Dashboards and leaderboards are essential ingredients towards the overall recipe of success. The fact that dashboards are continuously updated is evidence that they are so important to the overall success of the event. Our objective with the dashboards is to firstly inculcate a constant sense of belonging. A newbie runner will also not feel left out when they see people with similar results on the leaderboards. Likewise an experienced runner will also find someone to compete with. There is something for everyone in the wide spread of leaderboards. Sometime leaderboards motivate you challenging you and sometime motivates you by subtly asking you that “if they can do it then why can’t you?”

6. Recognition plays an important role in motivating participants. Can you explain how HDOR celebrates the achievements of finishers through digital certificates and special medals?

  • To bolster the gratification one naturally gets from overall experience of the event platform we offer stage wise badges , digital certificates and physical medals . This underlines the pain they have taken to convince themselves to go out everyday for that run which they were finding so hard. These celebrations are also there to create a long time memory. There are people who participated in all editions of 100 Days of running and they still dear to themselves the medal and T-shirt from their first edition. It a big thing for participants and even bigger for us

7. Could you provide insights into the core team at HDOR and their expertise in organizing virtual events? How does their passion for running shape the company’s vision?

  • Our team is essentially full of IT professionals who find solace in running and cycling. To most of us behind the scenes, running is the only break we get. We have a Technical head responsible for overall design of the platform. We make continuous improvements to the platform. There are constantly new releases. Then we have Kuldeep Bhargava who is responsible for successful event execution. Apart from running a half marathon whenever he wants to , he also keeps abreast with the latest feedback from the running community.

8. HDOR hosts flagship events like the renowned “100 Days of Running” and “Tour De 100.” What impact do these events have on inspiring and motivating individuals to pursue their fitness goals?

  • Like I mentioned above, it is a perfect way to start your fitness journey. Adopting fitness is about making fitness routine a habit. We follow and try to implement the principles of Atomic habit i.e. start something which is easy, make it consistent ,gradually make it difficult and before you realize it’s your habit.
  • People who have done even 1 event with us have adopted fitness one way or the other. Either they have gone full steam into running and become a serial marathoner or joined some other form of sports but they have got addicted to fitness.

9. In terms of the future, what are HDOR’s plans for further growth and innovation? How do you foresee the landscape of virtual fitness challenges evolving?

  • I cannot divulge more information at this point of time but idea is largely to leverage IT more to make fitness more accessible and empowering people even more to take fitness as part of their daily routine. Fitness should be as irreplaceable as is sleeping or is breathing

10. As the Director of Delivery at Gateway Software Solutions, how do you leverage your expertise in product development, cloud services, and customization to enhance HDOR’s offerings?

  • Knowledge of end to end product development has played a great role in successful creation of the platform. Back in 2015 we started using Google spreadsheets but our lazy nature and our technical knowhow always pushed us to find a better solution , a better way to use the data.
  • HDOR is spawned from an IT company Gateway Software Solutions which has its expertise in Cloud technologies and Observability. We provide our customers with best in class cloud solutions and application performance monitoring capabilities. Using our in house capabilities we are able to make our platform enterprise grade. Application performance monitoring capabilities which large banks , telcos use are leveraged on this platform behind the scenes ensure no delay, zero lag and SLA of 99.9%


11. How does Gateway Software Solutions, as a Service Integrator, contribute to HDOR’s success and the seamless delivery of exceptional online customer experiences?

  • Gateway Software Solutions excels in providing bespoke solutions on cloud for its customers. It is an AWS partner and provides best in class consultation of AWS products. Gateway is also a solution provider for application performance management and observability. The solution we have in place with the help of Gateway is something which large banks and telcos have in house. It is rock solid , it is enterprise grade.

12. Outside of your professional endeavors, what role does running play in your life? How do you balance your passion for running with your responsibilities as the founder of HDOR?

  • Running is as important to me as food and water . It is meditation, it is what keeps us focussed and centered. I strongly believe if one keeps social media out of one’s life then one can balance between professional and family commitments with your fitness commitments.



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