On 12th March, 9 members of the summ.it team took on The Mighty Deerstalker in Innerleithen, Scotland. This extreme team building event was all in aid of raising money for summ.it’s chosen charity, Wipe Your Tears and their campaign to help Kai, a little boy in desperate need of Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy surgery to help him walk unaided. Funding for this surgery is not currently available on the NHS so we at summ.it are donating every penny we raised to help towards the £24,000 needed.
Thanks to our clients, families, friends and colleagues, we managed to raise an incredible £1095 for Kai!
Jayne, Andrew, Phil, Mark, Jarrad, James, Dale, Laura B, Lucy, and Olivia put themselves up for the task of running the Mighty Deerstalker last September. They knew it would be tough but all the winter training runs, video reviews, and camping equipment prep couldn’t quite prepare them for what they actually faced. With the 5km option actually coming in at 10.5km and the 10km more like 21km, the team pushed themselves through more than they thought possible.
Despite weather reports leading up to the weekend showing some unfavourable running and camping conditions, the rain managed to stay off; though the already muddy ground and waist high river crossings saw to any hopes of staying dry. Being in the third wave the team had plenty of time to set up camp and get themselves kitted out for the race ahead. Most had spent weeks planning their race attire and breaking in their selected running shoes, apart from Mark who clearly thought the rugged terrain would require some grip in the form of his Adidas Predator football boots.
As everyone was setting up their sleeping arrangements ready to collapse into later that evening, it also became apparent that James had under-packed slightly having not bothered to bring a sleeping bag, not by accident claiming “I’ll be alright!”.
With head torches donned, football boots laced up and summ.it t-shirts adding an extra layer of warmth, the team had time for a quick group photo before heading for the start line. As the race started, the team broke into groups. Jayne and Laura kept each other company, the boys; Jarrad, James, Dale and Mark, stuck together just ahead of them, the least experienced runners of the group, Lucy, Olivia and Phil kept each other going, whilst resident Ironman competitor, Andrew set the pace up at the front. The race began with some balance beam and hay bale obstacles before the runners faced hill after hill, rounding corners at the top only to be faced with another climb, single track paths and steep descents into waist high, freezing cold rivers. Being the last wave of runners of the event, the sky was getting dark fast and winding paths and bobbing headlamps in the distance made surroundings even more disorientating. As Mark made his way down the other side of the first hill he realised he’d become separated from his group, not wanting to hold up those coming down behind him and aware that the runners in front of him were disappearing into the distance, he continued on deciding he’d wait for them up ahead. Seeing the lights of runners climbing the second hill of the 10km race, Mark made his way in their direction following what he thought was the track. After another half an hour of running and not getting any nearer, he found himself at a finish line having managed to miss out half of the course resulting in a “Did Not Start” result. Frustrated with his poor navigating skills, Mark changed out of his running gear and headed to the beer tent to wait for everyone else to come back.
Andrew was first in with a blazing time of 2:24:04, next in were the 5km’ers, Lucy, Olivia and Phil, at 2:36. The boys finished the 10km in 3:30 but just 10 minutes behind were Jayne and Laura. With everyone back safely and loading up on recovery Curly Wurlies, they got themselves into their dry gear and joined Mark to celebrate their achievements. Unbeknownst to them, the hardest challenge was yet to come. After more than 20km of hill climbs, the recommended amount of post-run alcohol, a night in shared tents with incredibly noisy campsite neighbours, and having to pack everything away in the morning, the team faced a three hour drive home. This proved a little too much for some!
Though their feet were aching, heads were banging and energy levels reaching critical, everyone agreed that the race was a fantastic experience, something none of them would ever have dreamed of doing if it weren’t for the support of each other. Whilst washing the mud of themselves and their gear, getting stuck into some good food and hanging medals pride of place above their mantelpieces, talk turned to summ.it’s next Extreme Team Building Charity Event!
Jayne summed the weekend up by saying “It was the hardest physical thing I’ve ever done but seriously satisfying. Sharing a tent with 9 of your work colleagues certainly takes team bonding to the next level!”
We’d like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who donated and wished the team well. The main reason for taking on this event was to help a little boy live a full and happy life and your kindness and generosity is greatly appreciated. Look for a special message from Kai on our Twitter and Instagram feeds.
Special thank you to clients Datalaw, Tier 1, Fisherfield Farm Nurseries, Hayes & Finch, and Trueshopping who all dug deep in support of their summ.it advisors.
There’s still time to donate if you’d like to do so through our JustGiving page.