Blayze Group has four teams entered for the LandAid TowerAthlon Challenge coming up on Friday 18th September, when some of us will be running up Broadgate Tower, abseiling down it or trying to cycle as fast as we can on a static bike.
There is certain buzz of anticipation around the office in the run up to the big event. As the day of the TowerAthlon Challenge looms closer, brash confidence is giving way to a little apprehension in some quarters. Rumours of secret training, abstinence (or at least moderation) and even dirty tricks from the opposition abound.
Can the aesthetes take on the athletes? Will Architecture and Design triumph over Production? Can General Practice mix it with the specialists in Consultancy? Is it ever a good idea to beat the boss?
These questions and more will be answered on the 18th September when twelve hardly souls from Blayze Group's London and Manchester offices leave the comfort zone of the their climate controlled workplace and ergonomic seating for the rigours of static cycling, extreme stair climbing and abseiling down the Broadgate Tower.
The Blayze Group runners - or rather stair climbers - pits the confidence of youth (Lewis, Linus and Oliver) against the experience of Leo Gee - the Associate Director running the Consultancy and Infrastructure desks.
Lewis White claims to be a 'natural athlete' who won't need any extra training to make it to the top. Can Leo roll back the years and pace himself for the final assault on the Broadgate summit ahead of the hungry pack of young consultants? Will Lewis ponder the wisdom of beating his boss? Or will they all be wheezing, jelly-legged wrecks half way up Broadgate Tower, being passed by fitter property professionals who took their training more seriously? We'll soon see…
Clare Johnson works on the infrastructure desk, so she's more used to finding people to manage major rail, aviation and energy projects than being suspended from tall buildings. Clare reckons she's ok with heights as long as she doesn't look down… Good luck with that, then!
Chris Wright, who runs the Sales and Marketing desk, will also be one of our abseilers on the 18th. Chris confesses to a bit of a background in climbing in his youth - seems he was something of a star on the Essex climbing circuit and he notched up several conquests. We'll soon see if the 'Essex Climber' is as good at going down as he is at getting up.
Mike Miller is coming down from the Manchester office to join in the abseiling. Mike claims to be 'mad for it', but as he had only recently joined Blayze Group when the TowerAthlon event was announced, we're not entirely convinced he fully appreciated what 'a trip to the London office in September' actually entailed!
To show solidarity with the team, Blayze Group's Managing Director - Harvey Gretton - is taking on the abseiling himself. Harvey always leads from the front and his name was first on the team sheet. Harvey steered the Blayze Group business through the credit crisis of 2007-2009 - emerging the stronger for it - so as far as we know this is the first time he's considered throwing himself off the top of a building! (We have checked the key man insurance is up to date…)
Chris aside, abseiling isn't something we have a great deal of experience with at Blayze Group and there aren't many opportunities to get some practise in. While difficult to set performance targets without historic data, the consensus is that as long as no-one screams like a girl on the way down (apart from Clare, obviously) company honour will be intact!
Cycling might be Blayze Group's strong suit in the TowerAthlon Challenge. Even before Blayze Group integrated the 'Cycle to Work' scheme into the employee benefits package, several of our consultants regularly cycled into the office.
Guy Hutchison from the General Practice desk is Blayze Group's Sir Bradley Wiggins - a time trial specialist whose turn of speed is attributed to weaving through the London traffic at breakneck speed to get to the office on time.
Sam Nassiri recently joined the Production team and has the look of the Manx Missile about him. No-one has seen him in lycra yet, but we have high expectations on the day. No pressure, Sam!
Henry Ball's training regime suffered a major setback when his trusty ride was recently pinched from outside Blayze Group's St. James' Park office while he was interviewing a Quantity Surveyor for a consultancy client. Our neighbours at New Scotland Yard haven't yet apprehended the culprits, but we have our suspicions… To be fair Henry's bike didn't look much to the untrained eye, but turns out it was a custom made titanium frame model with Gokiso wheel set, Campagnolo Super Record electronic drivetrain and Herzog Ebhardt saddle. Henry reckons he'll need a short holiday to get over the trauma when the insurance claim comes through.
Laura Padgett - an Associate Director at the Manchester office - also joins us in London for the cycling leg. Laura claims her training efforts have been interrupted with helping Blayze Group to achieve our recent Investors in People Gold award… we think she just doesn't like biking in the rain! Our cycling expert does advise that Laura shares one trait with the great Victoria Pendleton - she hasn't spent much time on a bike since the 2012 Olympics either!
Perhaps the most important team on the day will be the support team - standing by with embrocation for the battered bodies and perhaps a little lubrication for bruised egos. Those with age, a sicknote or curmudgeonly nature for an excuse will be cheering everyone on from a safe distance, recording the highs and lows of the day for posterity - celebrating successes and consoling the disappointed.
At Blayze Group it's very much a team ethos - after the competition is over!
We wish all the Blayze Group teams - and all the other participants - good luck! We're sure it will be a great day out for the property industry, and it's all for a great cause.
We're hoping to raise as much as we can for LandAid - if you can help with a donation, you will find the Blayze Group mydonate page here.
Many thanks to all who contribute - we really do appreciate it!
About Blayze Group
Blayze Group was founded in 2002 to address a gap in the market for a relationship orientated search and selection consultancy within the property and construction sectors.
Today Blayze Group is a leading property and construction recruitment partner working with organisations in Architecture, Accountancy, Business Support, Construction, Energy, Financial Services, General Practice, Technical Surveying and International sectors.
Blayze Group prides itself on taking the time to understand the culture and business of clients and combines this personal service with expert knowledge and experience within the Property and Construction markets to supply the highest calibre candidates.
For more information about Blayze Group search, selection and talent management services visit the company web site at http://www.blayzegroup.com. For a list of current opportunities in Property and Construction, visit the Blayze Group online jobs page.
LandAid works to improve the lives of children and young people in the UK who experience disadvantage due to their economic or social circumstances. As a charitable foundation supported by the property industry, LandAid finds ways to apply the generosity and expertise of the industry to this cause. You can see more details of some of the great projects LandAid are funding here.