Waking up on Saturday morning, the first thought that came to mind was what have I gotten myself into? It was pouring rain and I was expected to show up at Swangard Stadium and with a band of Beedie business students to run for the next 24 hours. I thought myself stupid for thinking I would be able to adequately organize a team for this type of endeavour in between school, case competitions, weddings, and obviously more school. But it was for the children I told myself…..for the children.
Why did I choose the 24 hour relay? Back in March I had thought it would be an excellent event to bring together the best and brightest that SFU had to offer. Having worked at the relay once before, I saw it as an opportunity to showcase our community involvement, bring our class together through trial and tribulation, and hopefully cement a fond memory before the program was over. What I had grossly underestimated was how jam packed our schedule would be in three months’ time. While all my wonderful ideas for fundraising and team recruitment fell to the wayside, I was still able to convince a handful of equally naïve and brave students to forgo their other obligations and come join me for a very rainy Saturday. A more apt activity would have been 24 hour ark building. Again….it was for the children.
Resigning myself to my fate, I hopped in my car in the early morning and picked up a couple of fellow victims. Thinking it would be a long day I decided to fuel up the unholy goodness of the McDonalds Bacon and Egg Bagel with both a coffee and a hot chocolate; one to act as a stimulant, the other for emotional support. Fortunately, I couldn’t have been more wrong. What we lacked in numbers, we made up for in madness. Our first two runners set the pace for the day both emotionally and physically. Sarah Burrell with her indomitable spirit sparked a fire not even the rain could put out while Ryan Woodland would then fan the flames until it was roaring. As these two set the stage we were surprised to learn that we were near the top of the podium with regards to lap count. An agreement amongst the team was made that we would strive to take the lead. As the water piled up on the track I was tempted to pull out my water wings, however, I decided I did not want to be accused of using performance enhancing devices. With athleticism to rival that of the World Cup, we intricately went from running, drinking beer, huddling under the heat lamp, dancing, and late night twister, all the while maintaining a precarious lead in the lap count. We wanted to send a message to the organizers and other participants, including Deloitte, Ernst & Young, Team CGA, Lululemon, and others that Beedie students were leaders in both business and the community. Occasionally, we had to remind ourselves that this was in fact…..for the children.
Each member of Beedie, along with a few welcome honorary guests, brought something unique and special that day that when combined, produced a product greater than its individual parts. I could write a testament to each and every one of them but unfortunately there isn’t enough room to do them justice. While our numbers did not allow us to compete for the entire 24 hours, we were happy to have participated. I want to personally thank everyone who came out, everyone who supported our team, and most importantly supported the Easter Seals Organization. What I initially thought would be a rather unpleasant, cold, rainy Saturday, ended up being a remarkably awesome, cold, rainy Saturday. But again….it was all for the children.
Shaun McPhee is a full time MBA Student at the Beedie School of Business. For the last three years he worked at BC Hydro in a variety of roles applying expertise in strategy, stakeholder engagement, and operations. Passionate about history, current affairs, and pop culture he constantly looks to apply his knowledge to the local trivia scene. Outside of scholarly pursuits he can be found playing ultimate, captaining his softball team, or simply relaxing with friends and family. Connect with Shaun on LinkedIn or Facebook.