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Blood, Sweat & Gears!

The Dell Management Challenge 2015.

Dell Challenge 1

Arriving in Brecon on the Friday before the event, we couldn’t help but be totally overawed by the beautiful scenery that greeted us. That feeling of excitement soon turned to angst once we realised that the same hills that filled us with awe today would be the ones breaking our bodies 24 hours later!

After final registrations and instructions were given out we were treated to an inspiring evening of guest speakers, most notably Greg Searle MBE, who shared his wonderful Olympic memories of success and relative failure.

Travelling back to the hotel that evening the mood was great -  full of excitement and trepidation, and after our last minute discussions over team tactics and expectations the whole team decided on an early night.

The banter on the way to Christ College Brecon for Day 1 was at fever pitch (probably through nerves) and after some last minute kit checks Ingram Micro (Team 1) were ready to go – every one of us armed with the knowledge that the international signal for distress is 6 short blows on the whistle, followed by a pause, then 6 more!

The initial stages were definitely the calm before the storm; gentle running and kayaking along the Brecon and Monmouthshire Canal in perfect weather.

The heart rates of all the team members were just picking up when we were greeted by the Taff Trail - a cobbled path that just kept on going up into the clouds! This was too much for some of the team who were quickly off their bikes and walking, but as a team we rallied together to keep going.

The weather and scenery were improving at equal rates and while we were all knackered you couldn’t help but be stunned by the views over the Brecon Beacons. After a very tough 14 kilometres, we finally reached the end of the mountain bike section where we refuelled with anything from a tin of baked beans to a handful of Haribos!

The gruelling bike ride took its toll on 2 of the team, leaving just 4 of us completing the next stage – a tortuous 10Km climb to the top of Pen Y Fan which is the highest Peak South of Snowdonia in the UK. Once again, all exhaustion and numbness soon went to the back of our minds upon reaching the summit as we were greeted with the most breath-taking views across South Wales and in the distance, Cardiff Bay.

Dell Challenge 2

That was the end of the physical challenge for day 1, but we still had to put together our case study, which formed part of the Management Challenge. And after a meeting with representatives of Judge Business School we headed back to Landovery to write it up and head to bed as soon as possible – any thoughts on a quiet night were soon extinguished as the locals began celebrating a victory in the Rugby Union match over England!

Another early start for day 2, but the team spirit in the camp made up for it. The opening mountain bike stage put paid to a team member, leaving only 5 being able to finish the stage. This was then rapidly followed by a 3Km hike across the boggy terrain and culminating in a team kayak challenge around the Beacons Reservoir, which was completed in record time!

Next up was a downhill biking section which we all agree was probably the most enjoyable part of the whole adventure race, followed by a steady orienteering stage and a gruelling 17 Km mountain bike stage alongside Llwynnon Reservoir, up onto Penmoelallt, North to Sycamore Grove and returning to Garwnant Visitor Centre.

Although arduous we knew that we were within one stage of completing the Challenge – our overall goal was in touching distance now!

Dell Challenge 3

After all we had achieved a 3Km run should have sounded easy. But no. With legs like jelly, the uphill start was nothing short of heart-breaking! But in true team style, every member came together with 100m to go and we crossed the finish line as we started – as one great team!

The feeling of satisfaction amongst us all was etched on our faces – we had done it, and we are so proud of eachother!

That evening we were awarded the prize as the team who had raised the most amount of money for the wonderful charity, Action for Children – totalling over £5,000!

Tired, proud, and emotional we left for the bar where our goal this time was to celebrate the end to the most wonderful weekend – JOB DONE!

Category Spotlight

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Newsroom Update

The Dell Management Challenge 2015
Putting our team to the test and helping us raise over £5,000 for Action for Children.

Click to read the full article in the Newsroom.