Have you ever had a colleague ask you to take part in a 200 mile run? Actually, 203 miles to be exact. Sounds crazy, right? Well, I was that colleague…
The Tuna Run 200 is a relay race that starts in Raleigh, NC, and has its finish line based right on the sandy shore of Atlantic Beach, a mere 203 miles away from the starting location. Because its proceeds are donated to two local charities, Alzheimer’s North Carolina and Autism Society of North Carolina, I thought this could be an awesome way to use my give back day — I just needed to rally a crew that felt the same. So I began my mission to build a team. As I approached each new prospective team member, I started my pitch: “You want to run to the beach with me?” My question was often met with blank stares or laughter, but after many confused looks and a few expletive responses, I finally started to gather some interest.
Members from the sales and services departments united to form our solid team of 10 people, creating The ChannelAdvisor Warriors: Brandon Compher, Zach Cheek, Scott Vautrin, Keithley Gordon, Phil Southerland, Paul Limone, Lauren Grohs, Logan Knight, Jordan Smith and myself.
Before the big day, The ChannelAdvisor Warriors met a few times to talk training, to discuss strategy and to convince ourselves that yes, we really did sign up for this thing. And before we knew it, race day had come. The morning of the race, we piled into our 15-seat van that would serve as our home for the next 31 hours and made our way to the starting point. At 8:30 a.m., the clock started and we were off. The next 31 hours became a blur of logistics, laughter, adrenaline, exhaustion and, most importantly, teamwork.
I don’t think any of us realized what exactly we had gotten ourselves into, but we stayed strong as a team until the very end. We each experienced moments of doubt and uncertainty, but in those moments, another team member always stepped up to keep us going. The experience itself was brutal and emotional; we had to reorganize and replan as the team started to suffer injuries. It seemed the closer we got to the finish line, the harder it was to keep going. But we did.
I was lucky enough to run the last leg of the race. When I turned my last corner and saw the crowd of runners celebrating, the ocean just over their shoulders, I realized just how incredibly amazing it was that a group of coworkers could come together and successfully finish such a challenging feat.
The following Monday, the 10 of us waddled, limped and all but crawled into work with an utter sense of accomplishment. We came together and conquered what some (well, most of our colleagues) said would be impossible. So if you’re ever approached by a co-worker who’s asking you to take part in a 200-mile run, don’t be so quick to laugh. As a team, you can achieve the impossible.