Microsoft UK Challenge 06 – Ayrshire & Arran

My brain has just about recovered to the point where I can commit my actions to the Ether without the remembrance causing painful flashbacks.

From the 7th – 11th June 2006 (last week to you and me), I was being tortured by The Microsoft Corporation. And I wasn’t alone. Myself and four colleagues were coerced into attending a inter-company competition, only to find ourselves locked in a Battle Royale, if you will, with representatives from 115 other companies.

And the authorities were in on it. I personally cycled past two Officers Of The Law, whose efforts my company support with their endeavours, and requested that they take me into custody for Crimes Against Humanity; i.e. me. Their response? Derisive laughter, if you please! I pay their salaries! Hmph, evidently a mere gratuity next to The Corporations dollar.

And did the hated Corporation furnish its gladiators with any weapons with which to do battle? Nay. Our chief weapon was cunning, our greatest ally, hope. That, and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope…, wait, that’s not right. I mean, That, and a mountain bike, a device that inflicts more damage to the wielder than the wieldee1.

Six stages spread over for days and nights. Building a waterwheel at 11pm? Mountain Biking, Kayaking and Running in the same day? Six hours of cycling and running up mountains? A whole HOUR of puzzles? Ha! These trials hold no fear for me, for I have endured them all, and overcome.

Out of 116 teams, we placed 47th, above teams who had actually TRAINED, who had multiple substitutes and support teams and all manner of what have you! You’d think you’d learn things after something like that? And you’d be right.

1. You can be the fastest runner in the world, but if you’re running in the wrong direction…..
2. You can always push yourself further than you think.
3. You can always achieve more as a team.
4. You will always be better at something new than you think.

Sunday dawned. The Corporation released their captives back into the world, so that we may go forth and take news of the experience to the masses. And what pearl of wisdom did I invariably impart to those who prayed at my font of knowledge?

“It was hard, but good”.


1I don’t suppose “wieldee” is a word, is it?