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Ragnar Relay 2018

By: Kathy Wilder


Does spending two days living out of a van and running a 200-mile relay with your colleagues on little to no sleep sound like a fun weekend to you? While to some this may seem like a torturous way to spend time with colleagues, for the 14 SEI’ers who participated in the Ragnar Cape Cod Relay, it was the thrill of a lifetime, and a team event we now look forward to every year. For this event to be a success, it requires participants that are willing to take on a challenge, trust their teammates, be adaptable to adjust to the unexpected, celebrate each other’s successes, lift someone up when they are down, be willing to ask for help from others, and most importantly, have fun. These are many of the characteristics that make someone successful as an SEI’er, so it is no surprise why this event was such a hit.

For the second year in a row, SEI participated in the Ragnar Relay from Hull, MA (just south of Boston) to Provincetown, MA (the very end of Cape Cod). Our team was divided up into two vans of 6 runners each, plus a driver. This was an extra special this year for us because our team had representation from three of our SEI offices; 9 runners from Boston, 2 runners from New York and 1 runner from Services, living in Atlanta.

Here is how a Ragnar Race works:

  • Each runner gets assigned 3 legs with total mileage ranging from 12 miles up to 20 miles
  • These legs get assigned based on runner experience, training, and individual goals.
  • The race has over 400 teams with a staggered start. Our team 7:15 am on Friday morning.
  • We run a beautiful course spanning 200 miles through numerous seaside and historic New England towns, all hours of the day and night, on busy streets and remote rail trails
  • We live out of the vans for the full time including as much shuteye as we can get during downtime, fuel up on energy snacks, change outfits, etc.
  • We stop to check in on our runner, cheer on other teams, follow local maps and drive ahead to the transition area to meet our runner
  • Upon completion of a team’s 6 legs, we handoff to our teammates in the other van as they take over to complete their 6 legs
  • The teams meet up for the last leg and cross the finish line together. We finished on Saturday morning in 28 hours, 27 minutes and 53 seconds.

There were many parallels we found in our Ragnar adventures to what we experience in our day-to-day work lives as SEI’ers. Despite a well-set plan leading into race day, we had last minute challenges such as a late van delivery from the rental place, injuries, and last-minute roster changes. In each of these instances, our teammates stepped up to the plate to find a solution to the challenge. There was no complaining, just a swift and collective call to action. People picked up extra miles, ran on stress fractures, adjusted personal schedules, and rallied family members to join the team last minute – all with a positive attitude and a smile (even at 2 am in the morning). We see this happen all the time at SEI – teammates rallying to help each other. Whether it’s surprises on our client projects on a daily basis or challenges in our personal lives where people need an extra hand from time to time; every single day our SEI teammates are helping each other tackle these unexpected surprises.

How we rally together to tackle surprises is a testament to who we are, how we operate, and who we surround ourselves with. We are a team of solution-oriented people who are willing to help out no matter the circumstances and are fun to be around…even over two days, living in vans, running 200 miles. There is no better team I would rather be associated with than the team we have here at SEI. SEI…We run on teamwork. And, we’re hiring (runners and non-runners).

Kathy Wilder


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