The ZAP team goes Nuclear

By James Golding

Nuclear Races is not a normal team building day. But then again, we’re not a normal team.

What does a ‘normal’ team building day consist of? Chances are it’s something civilised, warm, dry and safe. So when the idea of an extreme obstacle course race in the depths of November was banded around the office, I could reasonably have expected there to be very few takers. How wrong I was.

Nuclear races in Essex is one of the most well respected Obstacle Course Races in the country, it has enough to challenge the most worthy Athlete (100m monkey bars?!). It’s a gruelling 7 or 14km challenge, containing a range of obstacles, not least… mud. There’s every kind of mud imaginable. Claggy, sticky, viscous, runny, crumbly, slippery… we’ve tried it all and we’re now connoisseurs of the stuff. There’s climbing obstacles. Tunnels. Mud. Ditches. Water obstacles. Mud. Hills. Death slide. More mud. Did I mention there was a lot of mud?

Not an event for the faint hearted. Or with a cleanliness OCD. So when the idea was discussed and the team decided they really wanted to go for it, I was blown away! No big runners of gym bunnies here – they knew they were pushing themselves out of their comfort zones. But everyone attacked it whole heartedly, with determination and most importantly, togetherness.

dirty handbags
dirty handbags
dirty handbags

The obstacles are designed to challenge everyone, and needed teamwork to overcome them. One obstacle for example was a large plastic tube suspended above a muddy lake, which required team members to rotate it in order to spin someone over the top of it to progress. The bitterly cold weather and wet obstacles also meant we had to make sure we all kept moving, and encouraging each other to do so.

We helped each other round, stuck together and conquered it. A great experience for sure, but more importantly than that it was great to see our team not only willing to push themselves through such a challenge, but to do it with a together, supporting and encouraging each other.

The adventure ended with beer and burgers around an open fire in the event village, after putting on some very soothing warm dry clothes, ahead of the journey back. It was amazing to see the team get their teeth in to this unfamiliar and intimidating challenge. I think being able and willing to step up to difficult tasks and give it your best is a massive display of character.

Maybe next time we do a team day we’ll go for something a little more ‘normal’?

Probably not…

Nuclear finishing