Day 3: FCG My Epic Week Team

Resolution IT

We are really grateful to ResolutionIT for putting a team together for the FCC EPIC Challenges Week, with the impressive goal of completing at least 10 Olympic Triathlons. Thank you and congratulations on your 10th anniversary!

Completing 10 Olympic Triathlons is no mean feat, especially when you have to fit it in around the day job. Shaun Lane from ResolutionIT tells us more about the team’s fantastic effort.

How did Resolution IT’s employees react to the suggestion that you get involved with My EPIC Week?

They were apprehensive initially, but also excited. There was an air of confidence about fitness levels but when we wrote down what we’d have to do we realised it wasn’t going to be easy and we’d better get out and do some training!

What is your challenge and why have you chosen it? 

Ten of us are taking part, all doing different distances due to different fitness levels and other commitments. The target is a minimum of 10 Olympic Triathlons. Ideally we’d like to achieve nearer to 20 but we’ll be content with 10. People are doing different activities each day and then recording the distances.

We have to schedule it around work: going out for early runs and cycle rides, swimming at lunchtime and going out late in the evening. I’m not a morning person myself but some of them are getting up at stupid o’clock to do a run – it’s really quite impressive!

What inspired ResolutionIT to take part in the FCG My EPIC Week?

It’s our company’s 10th anniversary so we’re doing 10 challenges throughout the year to raise money. This Is EPIC was one of the charities we had chosen, as we’re big supporters of This Is EPIC and of Warren and Phil themselves, having worked with them over the years. This week coinciding with our anniversary has made it a company challenge as well as helping the charities.

How is it going so far?

After Day One it’s looking like we’ll go way above our original target of 10 Olympic Triathlons so it’s going really well. As a team we achieved about double what we’d aimed to do in a day so we’re hoping we can continue like this. There’s a buzz around the office and everyone is excited to get out and do their bit.

Day two of our FCG My EPIC Week. Meet our Mark Smith!

This is Mark’s first EPIC Challenge and it’s a big one! Philip and Warren will still be sleeping when you start your cycling each day, so you definitely deserve a high five for that! Welcome to the fold and good luck, Mark.Mark Smith Day 2

Can you tell us a little about you?

I’m a 45-year-old father of twin girls, married and a self-employed Customer Service Consultant from Guernsey. I’m a keen cyclist and a member of the Guernsey Velo Club. I’ve been cycling competitively for about 13 years but recreationally all my life.

What is your challenge and why have you chosen it?

I’m going to be doing 100 miles on the bike every day. I first heard about the EPIC Challenge from Warren and, having done several endurance events previously, it piqued my interest. I knew, however, that to make it challenging I would have to do a long ride every day.

What training have you been doing?

My normal training for the racing season started in January so aside from a few longish rides and a 100-mile time trial in June I haven’t done any specific training, which is probably why I feel a bit underprepared.

What inspired you to take part in the FCG My EPIC Week?

Being self-employed I didn’t think I could fit it into my schedule, so decided I’d do it next time it came up. I was then at a conference where one of the speakers talked about pushing yourself out of your comfort zone; this talk really resonated with me and I decided that if my schedule doesn’t give me time then I will make time. I’m planning on starting my rides at 3am, so I can then fit in a full day of work too.

Day one of our FCG My EPIC Week. Meet our EPIC Challengers!

 

It’s Day One and we have already heard from some of the fantastic people taking part in the FCG My EPIC Week. We’ll be hoping to keep you inspired in your own challenges by sharing their stories.

Our first post comes from Dawn Sealey. Thanks for your support, Dawn, and best of luck with your challenge!

Can you tell us a little about you?

I’m a working mum with a three-year-old boy, Jack. I started running after he was born. I’ll never be the fastest runner (in fact I’m frequently at the back of the pack) but I appreciate the good health and good friends running affords me. After a traumatic start to my son’s life, running also helps keep me sane and my husband has been known to gently suggest I go for a run when I’ve got a case of the mean reds! As an extra challenge, and so that I might participate in triathlons, I decided to learn to swim properly earlier this year and just over a month ago swam my first ever full length of front crawl (well a type of front crawl anyway!!). I’m doing a couple of swimming lessons a week now and it’s slow progress but a great feeling of accomplishment to be learning a new skill at this old age.

I’m also inspired by my son – there is nothing more heart-melting than when he puts on his trainers and announces to me he’s off out for a run (don’t worry I never let him get too far).

What is your challenge and why have you chosen it?

My challenge is to complete a half Ironman distance across the week. I wanted a tough challenge to push myself but also one where I could involve and inspire as many people as possible to join me on either a run, swim or cycle and fit it around work and family. I have colleagues, friends and family joining me throughout the week on various sessions and I’m hoping Jack will do a few with me too. The organisation alone of fitting in all these sessions is one of the biggest challenges.

What training have you been doing?

I’m still running a couple of times a week and in addition to the swimming lessons I’ve been trying to fit in some cycling, mostly commuting.

What inspired you to take part in the FCG My EPIC Week?

I’ve followed Phil and Warren’s challenges over the least few years and they did a talk at my offices (GFSC) which inspired many of us to push ourselves but also explained how the charity was benefitting communities in a real way. This is EPIC and Guernsey Mind are both amazing charities and myself and my colleagues are always happy to support them in any way we can.

Have you taken part in any previous EPIC Challenges?

I took part in the Kings Mills run and the Y-Front Run and my husband and I did the family run with the buggy before EPIC 12. It is starting to sound like I’m stalking them!

A look back at 2016

It has been quite a year for us at EPIC Challenges, we have really enjoyed expanding our calendar of events in 2016, which included the first ever EPIC Y-Front Fun Run, Guernsey’s first ever 12hr Endurance Event – EPIC12 and who can forget the Kings Mills Fun Run!

 

Part of our purpose at EPIC Challenges is to create the opportunity for the local community to get active and to push or challenge themselves to do something they haven’t done before. In 2016 that ranged from running 10km in Y-Fronts to support MUG and This Is EPIC, take on a family fun run to support Anthony McMahon & Jonah Gillingham, or to run through the night at EPIC12 or the Moonlight Marathon.

 

We want to make people realise that they can achieve far more than they currently limit themselves to, and on the way to being the best you can be we aim to raise money for our primary beneficiary This Is EPIC and charities that support community needs in Guernsey.

 

In 2016:

 

  • 787 runners participated in our events

  • Over 4,800 miles were run at our events

  • £14,300 was raised for charity 

 

We’re looking forward to 2017, we have already released our ‘save the dates’ for the next version of the Y-Front Fun Run, EPIC12 returns and the EPIC Moonlight Marathon is back for its 4th year.

 

2017 will also see us take on our next challenge but, and more importantly, alongside the challenge we will be launching a community wide challenge to get people active and raise money for charity. This type of community challenge has not been attempted ever before (that our google research shows anyway!), we are very excited and we are also very nervous about our next challenge – but more on that in 2017.

 

Thank you for your amazing support in 2016. We hope you enjoyed our events and enjoyed pushing yourself to go further than ever before. We look forward to seeing you again at our events in 2017!

 

 

#NeverGiveUp

 

 

Break it down

This post could easily be titled ‘common sense’ but one thing that Warren and I have learnt about setting goals and targets since 2014 is the absolute necessity to break them down.
At our recent talk at the IoD Shadow Management Awards we had the pleasure of listening to a number of students present on their experiences of shadowing managers and leaders in local businesses. Many of the presentations included some great definitions of leadership, the different approaches to leadership and how leadership and management are two different things. There was also talk of vision, strategy and goals across the presentations, from team goals to setting a 20 year vision for an island (yes Guernsey).
In 2014 Warren and I took on 7 Marathons in 7, which was our first lesson in how to breakdown big goals. I specifically remember in the evening following marathon no. 1 thinking to myself “wow, we have 6 more of these xxxxxxxx to go”. This then transferred into multiple messages to Warren about how big this challenge was and looking at the end point at the end of day 1. We discovered that this is categorically the wrong way to look at any big goal, target or challenge. In the midst of the challenge you cannot focus on the finish, as this will inevitabley create a the feeling of being overawed by the challenge or goal.
We soon realised that focusing on what is immediately in front of you, rather than the finish line, would enable us to focus on progress, to achieve smaller goals and for confidence to remain high during the challenge.
On day 2 we broke the marathon down into smaller goals and milestones. We had water stops set out at mile 5, 10, 15, 19 and 23, these became our new goals, not the 7 marathons.

 

How did this help? 

 

It helped by taking our focus off the enormity of the challenge, which harvest negativity, in the dark moments when you need to dig deep it is much more effective to focus on the progress made than the miles left! Shifting focus onto smaller goals enabled us to tick off progress on a regular basis. Rather than waiting 4+ hours to celebrate progress we were ticking off the targets every 50 mins or so.
By marathon no. 7 on day 7 our targets had reduced down from the water stops to lamp posts. As we made our way through the final few miles of our 184.3 mile week-long challenge, our eyes were fixed on the next lamp post which was 100 yards away. This made the last few miles fly by in terms of progress.
This lesson learnt has become a constant part of our training and challenges since 2014. But it is also relevant in so many other areas outside of crazy challenges. Whether you have a personal goal, a goal for your team or a 20 year vision for an island there is huge benefit in breaking them down into smaller goals.
The impact will be to see and experience progress, which all of us need to ensure we don’t give up easily or give up at all. 
With our third EPIC Moonlight Marathon coming up this may be a helpful lesson for any participants who are either getting their trainers on for the first time in ages, running at night for the first time or have pushed themselves to take on a few extra miles than you normally would. Here are three tips:

 

  1. Don’t over think it 
  2. Break it down into smaller milestones / targets 
  3. Remember to enjoy it, as you’ll be with people who are in the same position as you. 
#NeverGiveUp 

Planning for the “What Ifs”

Planning for the “what ifs” is essential when planning events and extreme challenges.
Thinking through the worst case scenarios and how to deal with them can be the difference between a success or massive failure.
Over the course of putting on events we have been really lucky to have the support of Delta Training and Consultancy looking after our medical needs and of those taking part in events.
Delta are a very experienced company, Dawn Bagnall who set it up seems to have every qualification you could need. She spent twenty two years in the Military and worked as front-line Emergency Medical Technician for two years with Guernsey’s Ambulance and Rescue Services.
Delta offer a wide range of courses to individuals, sports groups, and businesses to ensure everyone is equipped to deal with a medical problem properly if something goes wrong. Take a look at how they can help you on their courses page.
‘When they leave at the end of the day I want them to feel confident that they can implement their new skills without hesitation.’
Dawn Bagnall, Founder Delta Training and Consultancy.
Organising and taking on extreme events we have seen our fair share of medical issues both self inflicted and injuries others have picked up taking part in challenges. We fully embrace the need to keep safety at the heart of everything we do and we know its ok pushing the body but it needs to be done responsibly and with personal safety and the safety of others in mind.
“We always know that when Delta are involved we don’t need to worry. If and when there is an incident they are so experienced they know exactly what to do. They also work with us in advance of any events, on areas such as risk profiling the event and helping us manage and mitigate all the risks identified”. Philip Smith, Co-Founder EPIC Challenges

EPIC Moonlight Marathon Challenge Returns

The EPIC Moonlight Marathon, sponsored by FCG, returns for another year and this years event sold out within 8 days of launching.

 

Now in its third year, this unique marathon experience, created by EPIC Challenges, gives runners the opportunity to run around Guernsey’s coastline in the peace of the night and raise money for Guernsey based charity, This Is EPIC.

 

Starting outside Octopus Bar and Beach restaurant at 2am on the morning of Sunday 4th December, the marathon runners will begin the route and will then be joined by the half-marathon, 5 mile and 5K runners at different locations around Guernsey.

 

The aim of the event is for all runners to remain together and finish as one big group at Octopus where they can enjoy a well-deserved breakfast and a spectacular Guernsey sunrise.

 

The 2015 event sold out within three weeks with a total of 80 spaces available to runners. Due to the popularity of the event, the organisers have increased the number of places to 125 this year to allow more runners to take part and raise more money for projects run by This Is EPIC.

 

The projects, in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda, help people overcome poverty in a sustainable way through savings and loans groups.

 

Co-Founder of EPIC Challenges, Philip Smith, said: “We are really grateful to FCG for being the headline sponsor and supporting the purpose behind the event this year. Their support means that each runner will receive a newly designed EPIC Moonlight Marathon running t-Shirt and goodie bag.”

 

“Last year we had so many stories of people being inspired to get active, to push themselves and help us change lives.  All money raised will go towards projects run by This Is EPIC, which works with the aim of helping people overcome poverty.”

 

Deputy group Chief Executive Officer, Mike Leonard, commented that the organisation works hard to make a difference to the communities in which we work.

 

“FCG jumped at the chance to support the latest of the EPIC Challenges events.  Not only is the money raised from their events doing amazing work, but the challenges themselves continue to inspire many Guernsey folk, leading them to take on personal challenges that they perhaps would not have otherwise considered. 

 

“At FCG we like to think outside the box and not be confined by convention or the norm – it is this aspect of the way EPIC Challenges raises money that we find so exciting”

Purpose + Plan + Hard Work = Progress

I have spent a little time thinking about the previous two endurance challenges  that Warren and I have taken on (7 marathons in 7 days and running for 48 hours on a treadmill) and our upcoming challenge in 2017, which will be our hardest yet. I have been thinking about the common denominators across our challenges that have made a crucial contribution to us completing them.

As started to think I began a list, it got longer and longer, from teamwork through to technique. I challenged myself to pick 3 which apply to individuals, teams and organisations achieving their goals, both large and small.

The first on my list is Purpose. For Warren and I this is where it started, this was our ‘Why’. For us it was clear, we wanted to raise money for charity (This Is EPIC), inspire our community and to see how far we could push ourselves. We were both fully behind the purpose of what we were trying to achieve. You have to believe in the why behind what you are doing. It was our golden thread through everything we did and it was also an anchor in the stormy times when our resolve and physical & mental strength were being pushed to their limits.

Then came the Plan. Now here is a surprise statement for you…plans do not always go the way you expect to or plan them to go. During our training we had to adapt our plans and be very flexible in terms of how we put our bodies and minds in extreme situations to prepare for the challenges. We also learnt that it is ok to have a bad day, as it gives you a chance to evaluate, adapt and reset as required. The key point here though is we had a plan. We spent time working out the key steps to ensuring we had trained adequately to stand a chance of achieving our goals.

Now we come onto Hard Work. Another surprise statement here…achieving our goals did not come easy, there was blood, sweat, tears, tiredness and even searching on Google “how to run a marathon on crutches”. Early mornings, late nights, hundreds and hundreds of miles run each month was not easy. Any goal or challenge that you set will need you (and probably others) to roll up their sleeves and commit to working hard. Often it is far easier to quit than to make that personal commitment to not give up. This is where we go back to purpose, this can and will act like a light in those dark moments when the body or mind is saying “STOP”. If you believe in why you are doing what you are doing quitting won’t come easy.

Mix all those elements together and, in our experience, you will see Progress. You will learn about yourself and how far you can push the body and mind. You will achieve things that both you and others thought you could never achieve. You won’t stop there either, you’ll realise what is possible or start wondering how high you could go with your goals.

Purpose + Plan + Hard Work = Progress

“Don’t wait until you are old like us”

“Don’t wait until you are old like us” was a phrase I used in the closing comments of a talk to the IoD Guernsey Shadow Management Awards ceremony last night.
Warren and I had the privilege of being the guest speakers at the event sponsored by KPMG Channel Islands. The Shadow Management is designed to give sixth form students the chance to be selected to shadow senior managers in the workplace and learn about management skills from firsthand experience. 10 students made it through to the final last night where they presented for 4 minutes on their management shadowing experiences.
The presentations were fantastic, and Warren and I had clearly been stitched up with being asked to follow such eloquent presentations!
Warren and I took to stage to provide the audience, a mixture of students, parents, teachers and managers, a whistle-stop tour of our “7 Lessons to epicness”. This is built on the lessons we have learnt during the past 2 years of taking on a couple of crazy challenges. Interestingly the lessons don’t focus on running, they relate to home life, work life and how we can all set goals and have a mindset that helps us be the best we can be.
Some of what we shared may go against the grain of traditional management and leadership, especially around taking risks, not being afraid of failing and committing to a big goal without (yet) having a plan of exactly how you are going to get there. There were a few funny looks when I explained that Warren and I had the perfect pedigree for endurance / ultra runners as we went into our first challenge in 2014. I had never run a marathon before and Warren had only completed one,..badly. The perfect pedigree!
A core part of our message to the students was one of committing to the process of being the best you. Setting a big goal or vision plays a key part in that process. As we look back at our challenges the benefits of what you learn about yourself through the process of being the best you can be outweigh the benefit of crossing that finish line.
A closing statement to the students, but it is applicable to all of us, was one of not waiting until you are old(er) like Warren and I to set yourself a new bigger and bolder goal. As we looked at the students, who are all in their late teens, the opportunity they have is an exciting one, find your purpose, set a big goal, and enjoy the process of begin the best you. It will lead to a life of excitement and adventure.
This isn’t just relevant for those on their way out of school or college. For all of us, whatever stage we are in life, we can set ourselves a challenge or goal, believe in a purpose behind it (the why) and go on the exciting journey of pushing ourselves to see how far we can go and what we learn form that process.

“What if I fall? Oh,but my darling,what if you fly?”

 

 

Betway CI Sports Personality of the Year Awards

Warren and I had the honour and privilege last night of attending the Betway CI Sports Personality of the Year Awards. We were kindly invited along by ITV, under the premiss of answering a few questions on sport and challenges, little did we know that we had actually been selected for an award by the judges, but more on that later.

We have to be honest, it felt a little uncomfortable sitting alongside amazing sportsmen and sportswomen, who are competing at the top of their game, outstanding coaches, as well as volunteers that have been supporting sport in the islands for decades. Warren and I do not see ourselves as sportsmen, we tend not to look at ourselves as athletes either, we are just a couple of guys that have found a purpose in challenging the bodies and minds to got to the extremes to help and inspire others. We didn’t know what to expect last night in terms of the event, but we had a great evening and our eyes were opened wide to the talent we have in the Channel Islands.

In the sporting arena in Guernsey, and I think you can extend this to Jersey too, you often hear the term “punching above our weight“, usually in reference to a team or an individual competing. From the conversations and stories shared last night I don’t think we should be allowed to use that phrase any more in the Channel Islands, it is time to believe in ourselves.

The talent in the Channel Islands is incredible, we are not punching above our weight. We appear to simply have individuals and teams pushing themselves to be the best they can be.

We are extremely lucky to have such easy access to a broad range of sports and activities in the Channel Islands, something we all probably take for granted now and again. A combination of landscape, scenery, facilities, organisers, volunteers and coaches ensures the islands are fertile places for developing talent. When Warren I were in training for our 7in7 and EPIC48 events we went through some tough training periods, but the stories last night really inspired us, guys and girls who are training 6 to 8 times a week, who have been doing it for years and are pushing themselves to be the best they can be. That’s the inspiring bit, people making that personal choice and commitment to push themselves to be the best they can be, and we appear to have lots of them across the islands.

When you add that into the more informal activities taking place, the running groups that go out each week, the bike rides organised each weekend, along with all the other activities taking place on a weekly basis in the Channel Islands we have a unique community and one that we should be very proud of. It is also an area that can help the Channel Islands continue to prosper, when you look at challenges such as physical and mental health, the role activity and sport plays is a critical one in creating a healthy and thriving community.

As mentioned at the start of this post, we were somewhat duped into attending the awards, thinking they had us confused with sportspeople to answer a few questions. It was only when they ran the VT for the  RaceNation Charitable Achievement Award that we saw out feet pounding treadmills that the penny dropped. We were genuinely shocked at receiving the award and had no idea it was coming. It was both a joy and an emotional struggle to see the video from the team at The HUB and the impact of the Sunflower Project, where they continue to help children and families who have suffered bereavement. And we know that the projects in Uganda and the DRC with This Is EPIC continue to change thousands of lives.

We love what we do, it all comes down to ‘the why’, what we call ‘purpose’. It feels good to push the body and mind to places that you have never been before, but it is even better to see the positive impact from it, to see lives change and to others push themselves and take on new challenges.

Thank you to everyone for the kind words and support, as much as it is uncomfortable for us we really appreciate it and inspires us to go further and push harder. We were asked several times last night the worrying question of “What next?” Well, 2016 won’t hold any major challenges, that is being saved for 2017, but 2016 will include our Moonlight Marathon, as well as a set of local events in the Summer, hopefully working with our good friend Robert Young, aka MarathonManUK.

Get in touch with us!