First Round: Citius altius sportius

First Round has been inspired by the (somewhat unexpected) London Olympic euphoria as much as the next magazine intro section. But inspiration can only take you so far; viz., up to the point when someone tries to talk you into an act of athletic endeavour or endurance that goes way beyond the boundaries of common sense.

Consider a scenario where you go to the Scottish Highlands for a weekend – and rather than sitting around sampling the local single malt, you instead have to swim across a loch, run up and down seven very big hills, get back across the loch in a kayak, and then do a 50km cycle. What would possess a person of otherwise sound mind to do such a thing? Well, ask the good people at UK mid-market firm Dunedin, 16 of whom chose (of their own free will, note) to tackle the Artemis Great Kindrochit Quadrathlon in July.

Of course, Team Dunedin was not just doing this for the Coubertinian joy of taking part. Each participant pledges to raise a minimum of £450 for the event’s organiser, the Artemis Charitable Foundation, which then distributes the proceeds to its chosen charities (Mercy Corps and Mary’s Meals, in this year’s case) – a tidy sum that almost excuses Team Dunedin’s collective mania. Almost.

Speaking of Olympian endeavours, honourable mention should also be made of the denizens of social investor Bridges Ventures, who, to celebrate the firm’s 10th anniversary, have taken it upon themselves to run, cycle or walk 20,000 miles between them in six months (roughly equivalent to going from pole to pole), to raise money for inner-city literacy charity Springboard. Makes First Round tired just thinking about it.