The question I and the team at www.epiphaniesllp.com sought to answer, was “What does it take in practice to deliver a high performance?” For years we had supported individuals, teams and organisations in multinational-businesses improve their performance to exceed expectations. Whilst being both rewarding and fulfilling we were helping people achieve whilst on the side-lines. We believed what we did made a difference but we could never be sure how much was down to us and those with whom we were working and how much was happenstance.
Taking on an iconic tandem cycling record seemed to us like the perfect challenge. It required teamwork both from the riders but also those supporting the riders. It necessitated working together across a variety of disciplines that included medicine, nutrition, psychology, cycle specific coaching, exercise physiology, meteorology, project planning, public relations and marketing. It required those involved to challenge the what they knew as well as accepted wisdom. Members of the team needed to be sufficiently motivated to expend discretionary effort above and beyond their normal day job if we were to be successful. When it came to the record attempts they had to be willing to sacrifice part of their holiday allowance for this project rather than spend the time with their family or friends. Over the period of time it took to break the record the team would need to work virtually as well as face-to-face, membership of the team would change, and the circumstances did not remain the same. In short, in this one activity we had a microcosm of experiences that reflected our day jobs and therefore would deliver a real sense of what it takes to perform at the highest levels.
It was an ambitious goal, whilst the riders were experienced, they were by no means elite. At 42 when I started this project and aged 47 when I broke the record I was no ‘spring-chicken’. Many of those supporting the attempt had no prior experience of cycling let alone supporting an ultra-distance race. We were arrogant enough to believe we could do it and humble enough to recognise the scale of the challenge. However, when we began, none of us would have any sense that it would take 5 years, 2 failed attempts and much heartache. Despite this, it turned out to be an immensely rewarding and enjoyable experience that goes way beyond simply becoming an entry in the record books.
Having broken the record, we stand tall and proud and at the same time have a much deepened level of respect for the incredible level of success others achieve and empathy for the effort involved. It has renewed our confidence in what and how we support our customers and taught us many lessons we never anticipated at the outset. You can find out more about these by visiting our corporate website www.epiphainesllp.com If you would like to know more, please do get in touch.
In the meantime, if what you are interested in is the details of this attempt, then read on and if you would like to know more about ultra-distance cycling buy our forthcoming handbook.