AFTER successfully completing a ten-day charity trek across the Arctic enduring temperatures of minus 30, snow storms and ice quakes, co-directors of Team Challenge Company, one of the UK’s largest independent corporate team building providers, reflect on what they have learned.
Co-director, Gerard Crowley, said: “The 120km trek, which pushed us to our physical limits, has reinforced our belief that the essential qualities for facing challenges are thorough preparation and planning, team work as well as a sense of humour.
“We both feel re-energised and more determined than ever to bring all our enthusiasm for teamwork to our client events.”
The energetic duo followed a strict training regime ahead of their trek; including 5am wake-up calls to practice walking with a 35Kg sled for up to four hours; training in shorts and t-shirts outside in the Scottish winter to get used to sub-zero temperatures, as well as four gym sessions a week to build up strength.
Co-director, Gerard Crowley, continued: “The meticulous planning proved vitally important, we doubt we would have been able to complete the daily six-hour treks across country and up hills without the months of advance training and rigorous guidelines.
“I learned this lesson the hard way on the second day when I made the mistake of not fully following the rules on hydration, this made the last mile one of the toughest I completed during the entire trek.
“We were grateful that we had rehearsed the simple things over and over again so that they became automated; it made the experience safer and ensured that we could enjoy it to the fullest.”
During the pair’s journey across one of the harshest environments on earth the pair endured a 24 hour gale-force seven snowstorm as well as an ice quake which led them to almost lose one of their supply sledges.
Team Challenge Company co-director, Stephen Hazley, said: “Although our guide was able to rescue our sledge from falling through the ice, it was a stark reminder that we were in a very dangerous environment where you have to keep your wits about you.
“Having a great team not only made the journey more enjoyable, but also meant that we were stronger together and could overcome the challenges thrown at us.
“Despite the danger and harsh conditions, the journey was an amazing experience and Gerard and I learned that pulling together as a team, as well as retaining a sense of humour, were the key factors in our success.”
The pair raised more than £8,500 of their £10,000 target for Cancer Research UK as a result of the trek and are now undertaking further fundraising initiatives to help them reach their target.
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