A sock strategy

18453646Don’t you have one? Then read on. At the latest Socitm North East meeting we had some excellent speakers. Robert’s presentation really stood out for me as it was a story told from the heart. The message was clear.

The theme of the meeting was regional resilience and Robert gave us his thoughts representing the North East Fraud Forum. Amongst other things, he is a runner. Not an ordinary runner but an ultramarathon runner.  He covers distances longer than the traditional marathon length of 42.195 kilometres.

He told us how he had just run the Northern Traverse, an 192 Mile race against the clock following Wainwright’s Coast to coast route from St Bees to Robin Hood’s Bay. According to the blurb on the Open Adventure website ‘the route crosses the north of England through three National Parks, taking in iconic mountains, valleys, moors and over 16,000 feet of ascent, the Northern Traverse is one of the most spectacular ultra races in the world’.

Throughout the competitors are on their own. They are self supported with no route markings and only four checkpoints along the way. They have a GPS tracker to let them know where they are but once the clock starts it doesn’t stop until they get over the line.

They have to prepare themselves for any eventuality. Some things such as the weather is outside their control. You need to be able to run when you are warm and protect yourself against the cold when you stop. Having the right kit and the right map are essential. To make sure you need to prepare well in advance and recce the course. You need to choose the relevant information and plan for the difficult terrain. You need to know when you will be able to eat and sleep.

Just like in a business continuity event there is no reset button. You cannot start again. Robert would regularly ask himself what was hurting and what could be done about it.

Where do the socks come into the story? I’m sure you can imagine that for a runner, feet are their most important asset. They must be protected at all times as without them you cannot run. He has different socks depending upon the likely terrain.  

You need to look after your best assets. Do you have a sock strategy?

You can follow Robert’s adventures at @madman2 on Twitter.

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