Damascus College students and staff took a 12 hour ride around a virtual volcano while never actually moving in an attempt to capture the spirit of what is normally their biggest day of the year.
The school's Sustainable Racing Team usually competes at the 24-hour Maryborough Energy Breakthrough in late November, but like every other event it was cancelled because of COVID-19.
SRT leader Rachael Beardall said they didn't want the students to miss out entirely, so the school organised its own COVID-safe event, designing their own stationary human-powered recumbent trikes and setting their own 12 hour challenge.
To add a competitive side, the SRT challenged a team of students and staff to see who could travel the furthest over 12 hours.
To add interest the riders were traversing an augmented reality or virtual course around the base of a volcano.
They also set a goal for the total of the combined kilometres travelled throughout the day to reach Adelaide - a goal they smashed, recording 644km which would put them about 50km past Adelaide.
"At the end of the night we actually had less than 600m between the teams so it was neck and neck, really exciting," Ms Beardall said.
The SRT has about 30 students but about 20 took part in the 12 hour event as the rest are VCE students in the middle of exams. A similar number of staff and other interested students took part on the second team.
The entire 12 hours was livestreamed to the Damascus College You Tube channel, with footage of students riding interspersed with interviews with team members, staff, past history of the program and how new members can get involved.
"We don't often get this opportunity at Maryborough because we just have our own team with us, so this was a really good way to promote the program throughout the college," Ms Beardall said.
The virtual volcano setting for the race added interest for riders and viewers, and a past student and program volunteer with his own technology at home raced against the teams during the morning.
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For Ms Beardall it was important to keep the momentum of the program going despite remote learning and a disrupted year.
"We kept it going through remote learning with videos and workshops, and the kids came up with ideas and really engaged through the whole year even though they didn't get to be with us," she said.