This June, a team of five CWT employees is taking on the mammoth 34th Race Across America (RAAM) to support ECPAT, a charity network which aims to prevent the sexual exploitation of children around the world.
The epic cycling challenge begins in California and ends in Maryland on the US east coast. Our team, Team Endeavour, is raising money for ECPAT International, a global network of civil society organisations campaigning to end the sexual exploitation of children.
The team members taking this mighty challenge on are our chief technology officer Andrew Jordan, Lisa Akeroyd who is managing director for CWT Australia, global VP of strategic planning and operations Anthony Allinson, strategic sales manager for CWT Australia Brendan Cox, and CIS client solutions manager for APAC, Charlie Allum.
So how did this all come about?
In the middle of a client strategy meeting late last year, Andrew Jordan, Lisa Akeroyd and Brendan Cox got talking, when Andrew suggested forming a team to complete in RAAM and it snowballed from there.
To be meaningful the race had to be a significant challenge, and this is one of the biggest and toughest cycling races in the world. And this will be no mean feat - the cycling event covers 3000 miles and involves a 175,000 foot climb across 12 states.
With three willing participants the team was taking shape, but they needed more bodies on bikes. They put a call out to the business. Then one evening in a London pub with Andrew, Jasper.
A few of the team members take us through their motivations and routines as they prepare for the ride ahead.
Lisa Akeroyd, managing director, Australia
Why did you choose to support ECPAT?
The work of ECPAT is very close to our hearts and by providing sponsorship for Team Endeavour on such a tough, high profile challenge, we hope to help raise awareness - and money – for their important work. This important cause keeps the team motivated in preparation for the race and will keep them motivated throughout it.
Is there anything you are afraid of? The people who tell me they aren’t afraid. They are in for a shock! There’s a healthy balance of anticipation and apprehension within the team right now. No one is underestimating how big a task this will be and just how complicated the logistics and planning will be.
Anthony Allinson, VP, strategic planning and operations
Who makes up the wider Team Endeavour crew? The race team - including the crew - comes from the UK, Australia and hopefully we will have some members from the USA as well. The five riders will be carried across by at least eight crew members including two doctors, mechanics, cooks, drivers and navigators. As well as wrapping the four temperamental riders up and getting us across safely, we will have to drive at least 12,000 miles in four vehicles.
We have a media expert who will film, blog and post his way across with us. Lisa Akeroyd’s father, Barry Doggett, is one of the crew members and a fighter pilot. He is proving invaluable in the development of standard operating procedures - an essential part of our race preparation. The whole crew is ace.
Brendan Cox, global sales director
Do you believe this is the start of a long racing friendship?
Yes. A large part of the reason why I’m doing the race is that I cherish the friendships that I am forming with my team. There’s something special about the bond that you create with people who are working towards a common goal – particularly one as challenging as this!
Are you planning to do more races after this one?
Yes, I’m already dreaming about tackling the Arch to Arc triathlon in Europe, which is a swim, cycle, run from London’s Marble Arch to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.
Andrew Jordan, chief technology officer
How is your training plan coming along? I do 10-15 hours of cycling per week but this is targeted workouts/rides specifically aimed at strength, endurance or stamina.
Who is in better shape at the moment? Hard to say. I think we’re all very fit but I think RAAM will push everyone to their limits.