Vivobarefoot and the team building challenge

Jul 27, 2017 | 0 comments

Jakob Edholm

“Epic”. “Together”. “Cake”.

These are the words that sum up Vivobarefoot’s office challenge at ÖTILLÖ Isles of Scilly in June.

Twelve employees from eleven different departments within the minimalist-soled shoe company – including co-founders Galahad Clark and Asher Clark, who’s also Design Director, International Sales Manager Dale Turrell, Director of Operations and Sustainability Damian Peat, and Marketing Director Anne Harrison – formed six teams for the Sprint race on Sunday, June 18.

The achievement of the team-building weekend had nothing to do with Finish Line times. From an outsider’s point of view, you would have thought this group, with family members and four-legged friends in tow, were childhood friends taking their annual summer vacation together as they joked, chuckled and shared a few beverages across the weekend.

Vivobarefoot is an ÖTILLÖ official sponsor, and Galahad Clark, of the Clark shoe family, is a regular on the ÖTILLÖ Sprint circuit. And while various employees have participated in other ÖTILLÖ swimruns, the Isles of Scilly brought the word “team” to a whole new level.

“It was a hugely emotional event for us, and not just because of the amazing setting,” Dale Turrell told SLM. “It was physically challenging, a rollercoaster of feelings.”

Asher Clark explained to SLM that swimrun is a key part of Vivobarefoot’s strategy. “It ties us to our belief of having as little between you and nature as possible,” he commented. “We encouraged our staff to train together and connect emotionally outside the work environment.”

Sophie Darsy

Not many companies provide this exceptional type of opportunity to their staff. Over ten months, Vivobarefoot employees, a few who have no open water or running experience, would run along the Thames over lunch, encouraging and supporting each other. No wonder Marketing Director Anne Harrison choose “together” to best summarise the weekend.

Dale said “epic” was how he would remember his first swimrun on the Isles of Scilly. “Swimrun is a rough but well-rounded sport. I worried about whether all of our teams were okay, if we were going to make it.”

“I had two epiphanies about swimrun on the Isles of Scilly,” Director of Operations and Sustainability Damian Peat, who also did his first swimrun, shared. “First, cake. When I saw racers eating cake at the Energy Stations, and how relaxed everyone was, I was overwhelmed by the niceness of the community.

“The second was the friendliness of the ÖTILLÖ staff, even the sweepers. They all made you feel like you were more than just a competitor.”

It was a photo finish for a different reason. Three Vivobarefoot teams waited on the exit of the last swim to finish the Sprint together. Hand in hand, Damian and his team partner Davis Rose (The Iron Mermaiders), Anne Harrison and Dale Turrell (Interconti-mental) and Greg Bamford and Rob Boswell (Rambozzled), all crossed the finish line together.

It was a moment that represents what ÖTILLÖ is all about: team work and sportsmanship à la fun.

And it was clear to everyone around that the motivation and morale the Vivobarefoot crew found on the Isles of Scilly swimrun will splash over to the office.

Vivobarefoot has set the challenge for other companies to abandon traditional team-building activities and get their employees swimrunning.

Article first published in Swimrun Life Magazine Issue # 3 (July 2017)

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More magazine articles

Swimrun Life #3 2017 – A word from the editor

The ferry ride. As a kid in the Seventies, a ferry ride meant an adventure – water, waves, fun, and freedom to run around, watching the mainland disappear into the horizon. You were leaving the crowded city with its big boring buildings for fresh air on a spacious island, where nature was beckoning to be explored, insects inspected, and tree roots to be tripped on.

Race Directors’ Moment: It has been a whirlwind of a season

It has been a whirlwind of a season.At ÖTILLÖ Utö, most of the teams were terrified of the cold water. In fact, almost everyone baked. At ÖTILLÖ Isles of Scilly, the Atlantic Ocean was like a swimming pool and who will ever forget the last night outside the pub, hanging on the sea wall and watching the sunset together? At ÖTILLÖ Engadin, a mega thunderstorm in the middle of the race clearly showed us all that nature will never be tamed. We now have a couple of weeks to prepare for the 2017 ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Championship. At this point, it’s safe to say that …

ÖTILLÖ LEGEND #3: Jonas Colting

One of Sweden’s most recognised triathletes, Jonas Colting is the only person to compete in every single ÖTILLÖ World Championship race since its inception in 2006. Colting, who promotes swim safety as a way of integrating refugees and immigrants in Sweden, just finished a 300km swim in the Baltic Sea to raise awareness about the need for public swimming pools in the country.

ÖTILLÖ Team 36: The two crazy Mexicans

Living in a small Mexican town like Cordoba, 300 km southeast of Mexico City, training was a hit and miss for us at the beginning. We tried everything, from a triathlon camp in the US to an 18,000-foot volcano. And running in a wetsuit at 35°C was no fun either. Nothing quite worked for us, until we discovered Lake Alchichica, only three hours away. The only problem was no one dared to swim there because it was bewitched.

How to stay hydrated during a swimrun

The trick to prerace hydration is knowing that you cannot simply drink loads and loads of water in the final few days (as many athletes try to do) and store it away for future use. All that drinking lots of extra water does is to increase the amount you need to pee and it can actually be very counter productive if this leads to dilution of the electrolyte levels in your blood.

Campz free Swimrun Guide

André Hook first heard of swimrun almost four years ago, when a triathlon friend sent him the link to the video of the ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Championship 2013. Four years later, an avid swimrunner, André has written a free e-guide for CAMPZ.

International partners
  • Head
  • Campz Addnature
  • Garmin
  • Vivo Barefoot
Processing...
Thank you! Your subscription has been confirmed. You'll hear from us soon.
Subscribe to Swimrun Life Magazine newsletter
ErrorHere