To coincide with the start of the Brighton Fringe, the Colour Obstacle Rush made a stop here in Brighton, and as mentioned in our previous blog, LB had entered its prime athletes into the event in order to raise money for Rockinghorse – and somehow I got roped into it as well.

Yep, me, the person who didn’t even run to his wife’s place of work when her waters broke – for the record, it was more of a speedy amble, once I’d finished my cup of tea of course.

But having a baby last year that was 6 weeks premature just makes you realise the unsung efforts of the people behind the scenes everywhere that never get the credit they deserve and that applies to Rockinghorse as it celebrates its 50th anniversary.

So, having hoped that the weather would be kind to us and travelling the opposite direction to those heading into Brighton for the Children’s Parade, we gathered at the race course. Upon looking at the course I immediately realised that there would be some physical exertion involved and I couldn’t treat the event like one big bouncy castle and one where I could leave my shoes on!

Once I’d got over the initial shock of having to run, or at least power walk, between the obstacles, we skilfully avoided the “warm up” area, as there really is nothing worse than being asked to jump up and down on the spot waving your arms in the air while The Vengaboys plays from a beaten PA system. Then again, I’d happily use the Vengabus to get around the course, but would that be cheating? We were rounded up to the start line and suddenly you’re thinking “How do I get past this first obstacle while still maintaining all my style and grace while the people waiting look on?”

I didn’t.

We were told to go, somehow Katie heard the starting pistol of the Olympic 100 metre final and was half way down the first one before the rest of us had started. Me, I decided to see if I could leap tall buildings, or in this case a horizontal inflatable bar, in a single bound, I couldn’t. It set the tone for the course.

Once I rolled off the first obstacle into the paint on the floor, I looked behind to see the rest of LB clambering over large inflatables in fits of hysterics, but together.

That’s what we did, we went round together, a jog here, a wander there, chatting away between obstacles but always together, even laughing as we are given a “look” by the participants who clearly take this very seriously and need to run around the course. It’s probably an adrenaline high with them I’m guessing. Though come to think of it, I did see them an hour later being asked to wee into a small cup…

And that’s the thing, we all share a work goal and as an agency collaborate, but can we do that when not working? Are we still the same group outside of the office when not in a working environment? Is there really any difference between helping someone over a cargo net as there is to solving a creative dilemma?

Well, the only difference is that the cargo netting is far more amusing but the principle is the same. An agency bonding together shouldn’t be left to those times when you’ve been working solidly on pitches or during peak year-end reporting season and then go for a cheeky after work pint, or the usual suspect, the Christmas party.

Ask yourself how well you know the person sitting next to you in the office? How often do you discuss things that aren’t work? You spend 30 plus hours a week in their company, that’s more than we all probably spend with respective partners during the week, so it needs to be enjoyable.

And by enjoyable I mean watching the MD being kicked off a space hopper by the Business Director or resisting the overwhelming temptation to throw water bombs at my wife (as a side note, partners joined us on the course.) Well, moral support is one thing, but dragging your loved ones around 5k course and watching them wheeze for breath in tandem with you just spurs you on even more. And for attentive readers, I hadn’t left my baby at the finish line in the vague hope she’d still be there an hour later, she was being well looked after. Albeit it was the random guy running the burger van, but hey, he looked ok, well, the van had a 1 star review from Tripadvisor.*

Anyway, just realised how much I digressed there: you wanted to know if there was some hidden enlightenment to come from me about our achievement. Kind of, there was a deep sense of satisfaction on completion of the 5k course, once we’d hauled ourselves up the rope for the giant slide at the end, bodies ached, paint powder had managed to find itself into places that I didn’t think it could. Though that, again, could be down to the Business Director tipping the remainder of his packet down my back – in return I made sure my packet of blue paint left him resembling Papa Smurf at a 90s rave.

But ultimately, as we sat in the pub a short while after, rehydrating, (that’s our excuse after 5k), and trying not to leave too much of a colourful dusting on the pub furniture, or even on the freshly cooked pizzas, (a weird topping that would be) we realised as a team that we had raised a great amount for Rockinghorse. This money will go towards helping those that really need it, and is a small amount towards what the children’s charity will raise over the next 50 years.

*And on the off chance my sister reads this, she looked after my daughter, not the burger van guy.**
** I have to be nice to her, need a babysitter for while the mother in law is at Glastonbury…