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Sat 21st May 2022
Enduro Challenge 09: Team UBS
Posted by: Editor
Posted on: Friday 4th September 2009

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Last Bank Holiday weekend saw the annual Enduro Challenge take place - a team relay race from the Tower of London to the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Below is a brief summary from the UBS team.

Team UBS at the start

Friday morning at 0830 we gathered with the other teams (six in total - UBS, Credit Suisse, Soc Gen, Tudor, DB and BarCap), and a few well wishers at the Tower of London for speeches not only to introduce the teams but importantly to highlight the various charities we were all raising money for. A diverse range, with UBS's of course being The Bridge Academy (a local school in Hackney).

Adrian Moorhouse, who had competed in the events predecessor (Arch to Arch), gave a great introduction and warned of the challenges ahead. It also provided the opportunity to eye up the competition, and it certainly didn't escape our notice that not only were other teams bigger, but they also some had pretty serious looking athletes in the mix.

Run leg complete7

At 1000 and after a witty introduction from Adrian Moorhouse, the race started.

1km and 40 minutes later, and perhaps spurred on by the guilt of having left his passport at home, Dean Moy brought us to the first change over in 1st place. Which we occupied for precisely five minutes, as Ryan - despite running a fine 45-46mins on a very hilly leg - experienced the form of other teams, with several running <35mins. Hmmm, that's pretty quick for a hilly 10km - and a feat which was replicated on the latter cross country legs too.

Unfortunately for us, with one of the team weighing 16 stone, that 10 minute gap continued to increase. Some heroics from others (Dean and Karen in particular), kept the gap to the leaders (DB) to c40mins by the time we reached Dover and the end of the 1st leg.

Equally, we noted, 40mins when it comes to a channel swim is certainly surmountable...

Unfortunately the sea was too rough, and to everyone's disappointment the channel swim was cancelled. Frustratingly we spent a night in Dover, and then viewed a fairly calm looking sea in the sun with a degree of anger the next morning as the swim leg became confined to laps of Dover harbour. Most teams couldn't help but feel they were cheating sponsors as undoubtedly the channel had been seen as the key challenge.

It was only an hour later when the wind and waves started picking up that it dawned on us the swim would still be a reasonable test. Swimming two laps (c 60mins each, with only an hours rest between them), of Dover docks getting slapped in the face by 3ft waves and stung by jelly fish is not one of life's enjoyable experiences. Equally all feelings of disappointment of swimming the channel, quickly changed to "thank goodness we're not swimming the channel"

As for catching up the time on the lead, well anything is possible

…unless of course the competitor's team includes two specialist swimmers. Can't complain though - the rules allowed you to change two of the team at each event - but certainly our preference was for all of us to compete in all events. It did however give other teams an obvious advantage - not only bringing in specialist athletes, but also affording longer recovery times for others.

So with Credit Suisse firmly in the lead after some excellent swimming we arrived at Calais in fourth place (behind CS, DB, Barcap; ahead of Soc Gen and Tudor)

At 1130pm Saturday night started the bike ride. By this time, most of the teams were exhausted, but with teams starting only five mins apart, even if the overall gap to the leader had extended to over two hours, it still very much felt like a race. For UBS, we'll not forget the image of Ryan flying downhill round unknown corners at full tilt for some time. Dangerous in itself, but set against night conditions with the minibus 50-100 yds behind providing the only real light and only a few hours sleep since the start, quite a feat !

c9 hours later we arrived at the finish point (30km outside of Paris) having come 3rd in the bike leg. A reasonable performance given others had specialist cyclists.

Whilst our fourth place overall was a touch disappointing (we're all inherently competitive), given we each competed in all the events and there was some outstanding competition, in hindsight a very worthy performance.

Team UBS relaxed now its over!

So in summary - a great event. A definite team challenge (a team which included, probably more important than the athletes ourselves, Brad and Christina on support, and Simon our impartial observer). A chance to raise £10k's for charity.

Many thanks to all the UBS team, and also to the competition. Good sports throughout.

You can check out more images from the event HERE.

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