With 2020 bringing about the era of ‘the lockdown’ where most of the population worked in isolation from home, ISN decided that a Virtual Team Challenge was needed to help keep up our Team Building Spirit whilst not seeing each other as often as we would like.
It was suggested that the Land’s End to John O’Groats (LEJOG) Virtual Walk would be a fantastic way to keep everyone ‘on the move’ despite not being able to go anywhere whilst also raising a few pennies form some local charities; Wiltshire Mind (https://www.wiltshiremind.co.uk ) and Shine (https://www.shine-support.org/what-we-do ). These charities were voted on and it was clear that a Mental Health Charity, which some many people across the UK relied upon the support of during the various lockdowns and a charity that a ISN employee had been supported by were the clear winners…. So on 26 October 2020, we donned our running shoes and took off….
Well, ok, so we got into fitness gear and did our best…
Despite the official ‘LEJOG’ requiring participants to run or walk the mileage, some members of the Team decided to just do the 874 miles their own way and not go on the official record. To that end, some walked, some ran, some cycled and some even swam….. oh and there were a few rounds of golf in there too!
Things started with gusto and the 23 of us that signed up started well. Treadmills were heard whirring on the south coast (yes, sometimes even during meetings) and clubs were swinging at golf courses, whilst the drumming of pounding feet was heard on pavements up and down the country an everyone got behind the idea of the challenge.
But things were not without their set-backs, there were falls, injuries closures of golf courses all hampered progress but with 365 days to complete the mileage, spirits remained high and positive. We sadly lost some participants along the way with other commitments in life getting in the way and time not always being a friend, but despite this there were some celebrations to be had.
Sam W and John B had their own mini completion for completing by running virtual marathons; Richard T and James M similarly were neck and neck for most of the event in their cycling. Will all mini achievements posted on a Team ‘Challenge Channel’ to celebrate the big wins and the small successes for everyone! We also believe that the ISN pet community was one of the healthiest for 2020/2021 with dogs being walked up hill and down dale, across fields and through puddles – and they loved every minute of it!
Along the way we gained support from friends, family and even customers as donations came in to help our two chosen charities, and with a generous offer of £50 per person donated on top of that for every person that completed the challenge, by ISN, a lovely pot of £1400 was gained for two fabulous charities; a little shy of the £2000 we ambitiously wanted, but a great total none the less.
A total of 13 members completed the mileage – that’s a huge 11,362 miles covered! Some other members were very close but sadly injury or time did not allow. Some of the Team are continuing to complete their mileage as a personal challenge and will complete in their own time. But whether they completed the miles in the 365 days or not, ISN is proud of every single person that took part, donated, or cheered others on – everyone has been amazing, proving that the ISN Team spirit is still alive and well no matter how a global pandemic tried to do to hamper it!
Now…. What’s the challenge for 2022?