Last month at the LexJet blog we previewed our little part in the Ragnar Relay, a nationwide running relay benefitting several charities. Our race covered Miami to the Florida Keys, or 190 miles of running divided up among 12 team members.
Our group, Team Hammer Time, was half LexJet employees and half LexJet friends, family and business partners. It was an incredible experience with a great group of people. Something happens when you train and complete a 190-mile relay together; it creates a certain bond that can never be broken.
I would recommend this type of event for any business. It fosters teamwork and camaraderie and strengthens long-term working relationships.
Though Team Hammer Time did not place (we came in 184 of 289 teams) we finished and had a great time every second of the way doing something very few have done before, and we are already planning our next race.
The race started on Friday morning, Jan. 7, at 9 for Team Hammer Time, but the team headed to South Beach Miami on Thursday evening for some pre-race “preparation,” which lasted until 1 a.m. No worries… Team Hammer Time is a group of seasoned professionals who were ready to run the next morning.
The race got off to a rough start for Team Hammer Time when our van lost runner #2, Lee Aho (a past LexJet employee), by going to the wrong exchange, costing us half an hour. At the sixth exchange van 2 was ready and waiting to give van 1 a break. Van 2 finished its legs at Homestead raceway where John Lane (LexJet vice president and team captain) completed his 8.8-mile leg with a lap around the track to cheering crowds.
Van 2 then took six-hour break while van 1 began the trek through the Everglades and into the Florida Keys. The run through the Everglades was in the dark at about the time the local alligators begin feeding. At the safety briefing prior to the race runners 2 and 3 were warned, “You will encounter alligators, and if you see one… run fast.” Justin Lehman, one of the LexJet employees who ran through the Everglades in the dark for 8.2 miles, was asked how he ran so fast. His reply: “I was afraid I was going to be eaten.”
Exchange 18 was at the top of the Florida Keys and van 2 had the midnight to 6 a.m. shift. Although it was dark and cool and we had not been to sleep for many hours it was worth it. There is nothing more beautiful than running through the Keys with the stars and moon reflecting off the Gulf of Mexico on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other.
Van 1 gave van 2 a break just after sunrise where Janelle Pentz (a good friend of LexJet) started her leg running over the seven-mile bridge. At 1 p.m. Van 2 took over to complete the final six legs. The final leg was run by team captain John Lane, who was joined by the rest of the team for the final 200 yards and cheering crowds as they crossed the finish line and prepared for two days of fun in Key West.