Each year Crimson & Co sponsors a number of internal events or activities, collectively known as the ‘Crimson Challenge’, which are initiated and organised by an individual or team to promote Crimson values, Crimson team-working and personal development. This could be a rock climbing challenge or mountaineering challenge, a community or charity challenge, a corporate competition or entrepreneur challenge. Over the years we have participated in a host of activities, from orienteering, dragon boat racing, triathlons and marathons to slightly more adrenaline fuelled adventures like conquering the longest zip line in Europe and white water rafting.
The Crimson Challenges to date include:
On a hot and humid September day, the team in Mumbai ventured outdoors to participate in challenging sports activities that set the adrenaline soaring.
The annual team day, conducted amidst the lush greens of a forest lodge, was a perfect respite from the humidity. We raced to cross a Burma rope bridge, abseiled alongside a waterfall, swung like Tarzan from a branch of a tree to cross a pool of water, played some seriously competitive cricket, and finished the day with a good game of football before jumping into the swimming pool to cool it all off. The pictures tell the story, and needless to say the following weekend was spent recuperating!
On Saturday 23rd September, an 11-strong Crimson team headed to Sussex to take on the infamous Tough Mudder assault course. It featured a 5 mile course with 13 obstacles including scaling 3m high walls, wading through neck-deep water pools, crawling through mud pits and tunnels, carrying logs and forming human pyramids. Great teamwork was absolutely essential to complete the course with the team lifting and carrying each other over a number of the obstacles!
Muddy doesn’t come close to describing the state we were in at the end of the event, but it was all worth it for the pie & chips at the finish and there’s already discussion of upgrading to the full event next year…!
For this year’s annual summer event Crimson & Co hopped on a plane for a short flight to Cornwall.
On Thursday the team split into two groups, one half took to the waves to try their hand at surfing, whilst the other half, kitted up in wet suits and helmets, experienced the Cornish coastline, leaping off cliffs, exploring caves and riding the swell.
On Friday the team woke up to very wet and grey skies, however, we didn’t let it dampen our spirits. Everyone got out on the bikes and cycled to Padstow along the camel trail. We lost a few people to taxi’s along the way but the majority of the team completed the 20 mile round cycle, with puddles in their shoes but still with a smile on their face.
To celebrate the festive season Crimson headed down to St Paul’s cathedral to take part in the charity Santa in the city run.
Dressed up in red suits and white beards we joined 2000 fellow Santa’s through the streets of the City of London. Following a 5km route we ran across the Millennium Bridge to the Tate Modern and passed the Globe before crossing back over the Thames on Southwark Bridge. Feeling the heat from our Santa suits we then rang along the Thames to Tower of London and made our way back through Shad Thames’s quaint cobbled streets, eventually finishing back in the heart of the city in Paternoster Square.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable event and all Crimson members made it over the finish line – the prospect of brunch waiting at the finish line helped us run a little faster.
Mumbai monsoons are notorious yet fun so we decided to brave the rain and drove down to Nature trails resort near Mumbai. It was an action packed day of Kayaking in a dam’s back water reservoir, rappelling from the dam’s wall, followed by crossing a valley and finally swinging from trees like Tarzan. The Tarzan swing was meant for the team to swing from one platform to another over a pool of muddy water but some of the team were unable to grasp this and ended up falling into the water! Needless to say hours were spent showering the mud off after.
Overall the fun was unprecedented and we look forward to many more team days!
This year’s annual UK summer event took place at Lee Valley White Water Centre on Friday 17th June. Thankfully the sun was out so after a business update and some training it was time to get kitted out in life jackets and helmets.
There were four boats in total each doing three laps of the white water circuit at Lee Valley, which hosted the Olympic white water events in 2012. It is safe to say we were not Olympic standard but all but one boat stayed afloat successfully navigating the rapids. It was a fun day and those who capsized provided great entertainment for the rest of the team.
On Saturday 5th March, 25 members of Crimson took part in the first Global Crimson challenge. Participants took to the streets in Bucharest, Atlanta, London, Melbourne and Mumbai to compete in the 5k race.
There was anticipation across the globe following the fighting talk from Australia about their secret weapon. Luckily when race day came they did not disappoint with a lightning speed performance finishing in 22minutes. However, with the results calculated by the team average, the UK team managed to slip into 1st place.
Thank you to everyone who got involved, it was a great event. We are all be looking forward to the next one!
On Saturday 12th September, Crimson & Co put on the their walking boots to take part in the Nine Edges challenge walk – a 21 mile walk across the Peak District following nine of the area’s gritstone edges from Fairholmes to Chatasworth. The event was organised to raise funds for the Edale Mountain Rescue Team.
The day started out grey and wet and steadily got worse. By lunchtime we were all thoroughly soaked! However, this did nothing to dampen our spirits, and we finished the walk in glorious sunshine after just over 8 hours. The finish was right by a pub and there was a free pint of beer on offer, which we enjoyed sitting in the sun in the garden!
On Saturday 8th August, 3 teams made up of Crimson and our partners, Olive horse, headed down to the London Docklands to compete in one of the worlds largest triathlons.
It was a very hot day, but the teams were raring to go. Two teams took on the Sprint distance which consisted of a 750m swim, 20km bike ride and a 5km run. Both successfully completed the race, finishing with times of 01:45:02 and 01:53:12.
The third team opted for an even bigger challenge and took on the Olympic distance, which was double the sprint distance. All three team members put in a great effort and managed to finish with a very respectful time of 03:19:03.
A very long, hot, but successful day at the Excel!
It’s been a busy summer for the Crimson ladies with three events lined up in June and July. The first event was the Nike Women’s 10km run which took place on 21st June in Victoria Park. There was a great atmosphere, with 10,000 women taking part. The Crimson ladies all successfully finished the race, with a few of them clocking their personal bests!
Another running event took place on 9th July, the Standard Chartered Great City Run, which is a 5km run on closed central London roads, starting and ending at the Honourable Artillery Company Ground. The two Crimson ladies participating finished within seconds of each other.
The last event was the Great London Swim on 18th July at the Royal Victoria Dock which involves a one mile swim around the dock. Both Crimsonites survived the Thames water and are very proud of their hard earned medals.
On the 11th June, Crimson & Co headed to the island of Mallorca for two days of challenges.
Day 1, we were split into 5 teams and tasked with completing a treasure hunt around the local town of Soller and Puerto Soller. The Challenge included a scavenger hunt, word clues and puzzles and the teams had to produce photographic evidence of the locations found.
Day two, our original plans to go sea kayaking were changed due to rough sea conditions and instead we boarded three boats and sailed along the coastline. Crimson helped to steer the boats, hoist the sails and learnt various other sailing skills.
Minus a few jelly fish stings, it was a great trip enjoyed by all.
On Sunday 1st March, two teams from Crimson & Co took part in two 10km races, North vs. South. Team North raced in Tatton Park, near Manchester and Team South in Greenwich Park, London. The day was cold but bright – almost perfect weather for a run! Both teams put in a great performance, but in the end Team North emerged victorious. Team South commiserated over a pub lunch in the Meantime brewery.
On Monday 23rd February, Crimson & Co took over three London-based YMCA stores as part of the YMCAs Trade Takeover challenge to help raise money for local young people.
The teams worked hard to source stock and come up with creative ideas to help bring customers in to the shop. The team at West Ealing adopted a carnival theme, complete with a steel band, face painting and prize draw. The Kings Road team hosted a ‘Posh Frocks’ theme with an afternoon tea twist and the Goodge Street team attempted to lure customers through the door with a cupcake giveaway.
The teams managed to increase the takings at all three London shops and collectively raised £3,483.52 for the charity. All the money raised by the Trade Takeover will go towards helping the YMCA’s work with vulnerable young people.
After the enjoyment of the July team triathlon, 8 members of Crimson & Co and 1 colleague from our partners Olivehorse headed to Nantwich to take part in the North West Team Triathlon event. The event started with 500m in an outdoor, heated, salt water swimming pool. Given the large number of competitors in the race, it was just like swimming in a choppy sea! The swimmers handed over to waiting team members, who headed out on the 20km bike route around the lanes of Nantwich. To finish off there was a 5km run around a local park. Competition between the three Crimson teams was intense, but they all successfully finished within 8 minutes of one another.
On Sunday 13th July, a team from Crimson & Co headed to Foremarke Hall in Derbyshire to take part in a team triathlon event. Split into two teams, girls vs. boys, the first team dived into the pool to start the race. After powering through 16 lengths, they handed over to the next team waiting to start the biking leg. After 20km through the Derbyshire countryside they passed on to the last team member waiting to tackle the 5km run around the grounds of Foremarke Hall. Both teams finished the race in good time, the boys slightly beating the girls with a time of 1:30, 7 minutes ahead of the girls’ 1:37!
In preparation for the Summer Event Orienteering Challenge, a team from Crimson & Co have been taking part in a series of orienteering park races across London. Racing against the clock, the team navigated their way through Valentines Park, Crystal Palace and Imperial Collage. With some of the trickier courses covering multiple levels, the team’s map reading skills were put to the test. With only a few hiccups along the way, everyone successfully completed the courses in good time!
Following the 2014 summer event in the New Forest, a team from Crimson & Co stayed another day to take on the South Downs Marathon relay. The race follows a hilly 42km stretch of the South Downs and is split in to four legs. We entered two teams but due to last minute injury and illness we ended up with 1.5 teams. Luckily two team members were up for the challenge of completing a half marathon each. Both teams completed the hilly course under 4hrs 30mins – great results for a great day!
On the 19th June 2014, Crimson & Co travelled to the sunny South West coast of England to camp in the New Forest, deep in the Hampshire countryside. On Thursday, the team was divided into two groups, one that went abseiling and the other that enjoyed a tour around a local brewery. Orienteering through Moors Valley Country Park and Forest came next. The team were divided into groups and everyone was off to navigate their way around a challenging course. The two day event also included watching England being defeated in the World Cup over a hearty pub dinner, and a lively bonfire evening. It was a great few days enjoyed by all.
As part of our Crimson challenge, we recently entered a team in the Chatsworth 10k race supporting the Helen Trust. Held in the grounds of Chatsworth house on Sunday 4th May, the team tackled a hilly course to raise over £500 in sponsorship. This has now been matched by Crimson to bring the total up to £1,100.
Thanks to everyone for their support… a very successful event and Crimson & Co came home first in the corporate team category!
On the 17th of June 2013, the Crimson & Co team packed up their camping equipment and camped at Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales. The weather decided to cooperate and the team had a wonderful warm summer temperature throughout the two days. Five groups set out on Monday to conquer Snowdon, and everyone made it to the top of the mountain and back to the campsite safely. The afternoon and evening were spent chilling by the bonfire and playing outdoor games. Zip wire excitement came next. The team were divided into two groups and everyone was off to conquer the longest zip line in Europe. The team successfully completed the 130km/h speed on the big zip wire and thoroughly enjoyed the once in a lifetime experience.
On a very snowy day in January 2013, Crimson & Co helped transform a rundown church into a welcoming shelter for the homeless. As temperatures outside plummeted, the team donned matching painting suits and worked together to prep and paint five areas of Christ Church on the south bankside of London’s River Thames. In partnership with the church warden and The Robes Project, a charity which involves 21 local churches and around 350 volunteers who provide a hot dinner, shelter and breakfast for homeless people, Crimson & Co donated the materials and supervised a marvellous event. Despite the arctic conditions, Crimsonites worked together cheerfully like expert decorators to make the shabbiest of the Robes venues a welcoming space for the homeless.
On the 18th of June 2012, Crimson & Co travelled to Madrid for the fifth ‘Crimson Challenge’, a mountain bike trek through the Spanish Collinas. It was a gloriously hot and sunny day and quite a steep course, but all team members managed to get involved and enjoy the challenge. Having been suitably prepared with helmets, bikes, water and a map of the sorts, the team set off from the small town of Soto del Real; cycling out of the town along the reservoir and up into the Sierra de Guadarrama Mountain range. Climbing 1000m above sea level, challenged by slipped chains, and not one but three punctures; cannot blame the bikes really, it was more the BMX style of riding adopted by members of the team! Crimson successfully completed 31km of tough terrain, relatively unscathed. It was a great team challenge enjoyed by all.
A team from Crimson plus friends and family took part in the Dragon boat racing regatta in Marlow. Dragon boat racing has ancient Chinese origins and its history has been traced back more than 2000 years.
Today Dragon boat racing involves teams of up to twenty paddlers in a 40 foot boat with a drummer and helm, paddling frantically to beat the other teams down the course. The drums, shouting and colourful boats make it an exciting sport both to watch and to compete in. The team won four races despite being up against tough competition from various rugby clubs and made it all the way to the semi finals.
A great day was had by everyone with all proceeds going towards Wooden Spoon. Wooden Spoon is rugby’s charity supporting mentally, physically and socially disadvantaged children and young people. Spoon has committed to over £14 million in spending for projects for children and young people. It has organised over 2,000 events and has over 25,000 ties worn by its loyal members and supporters.
The team attempted the Yorkshire Three Peaks, climbing Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough in a 12 hour period. This challenge involved a 24 mile walk over a variety of terrain and over 1,600 metres of climbing. The walk can be very boggy, but we were lucky enough to have sunshine!
We all chose the right level of challenge, with 8 climbing all three peaks, 8 attempting two peaks, 10 scaling a single peak and two completing a six mile challenge and providing logistical support. That’s 50 peaks climbed in total!
Whilst this was a great day out for us all, we also wanted to take the opportunity to raise money for charity. Our chosen charity is Beechwood Cancer Care Centre in Stockport, which provided immense support to fellow Crimsonite Matt York, his wife Hayley and their two daughters during Hayley’s recent illness. Sadly Hayley died in May this year.
We set a target of collectively raising £1,500. We successfully raised £2,261. As we hit the target Crimson topped that money up with another £1,000, making a grand total of £3,261. We would like to thank everyone who donated. www.justgiving.com/crimsonchallenge.
Crimson & Co thoroughly enjoyed the thrills and spills of fast moving white water rafting for our team day in November when we visited a site managed by one of our clients, Leisure Connection.
Set in 270 acres of beautiful country park, Holme Pierrepont is the setting for the internationally renowned Water Sports Centre. The centre has been home to some of our greatest Olympians and has been included in London’s 2012 pre-games training camp guides.