ClickThrough Marketing SEO account executive Lily Bowron is used to challenges – her day job involves scaling the heights of Google’s results pages for clients. This month, Lily is setting her sights a little higher than Google page one: she is set to take on an entirely different challenge, involving three mountains and a yacht!

One week and counting til we drive up to Scotland to start the SIPR – Scottish Island Peaks Race.

It is May 11 already and suddenly the SIPR seems painfully close.

I am a member of a team of five sport enthusiasts – Team Satisfaction – due to the name of the boat we will sail. We are taking part in the yacht race starting on May 17, which involves running the odd marathon and racing day and night in-between.

There are four stages:

1. Oban – Six miles – to spread the teams out
2. Mull – Climbing 3,300 feet! More than 23 miles.
3. Jura – Climbing 2,500 feet, three times! More than 14 miles.
4. Arran – 3,000 feet! More than 18 miles.

 

We’ll be starting on Friday, and hopefully finishing on Sunday or Monday – fingers crossed.

These mountain runs are events in themselves. But the challenge doesn’t start and end there: add some sailing in between, navigating at night and trying not to fall asleep at the helm, and it’s a serious endurance challenge.

What really makes this challenge different to other runs, is that you start the running leg at whatever time you arrive on shore, be it 2am or 9pm. It all depends on the time and speed you can get over the water navigating the quickest routes along the coast, often through rocks.

These runs are also not fully marked; you have to orienteer between check points, in the dark, after battling sea sickness, to finish at quickly as you can.

The team will have to climb straight up each mountain and straight back down, and then clamber on to the boat and into wet weather gear before setting off again. The whole event can be described as rather soggy and smelly – five people living on a boat after a day of running, with no showers (except for the salt water and driving rain).

There are 50 teams taking part this year. Team Satisfaction consists of Bill Tipper, Joe Tipper, Richard Mortiboys, Simon Heppell and myself.

We are doing the race to raise money for the Samantha Dickson Brain Tumour Trust, a charity that is very close to the heart of the team and their families.

It’s going to be a huge challenge, but I think Team Satisfaction is more than ready. I’m prepared and staying calm – as long as no one says to me in the next week that “worse things happen at sea.”

Obviously, we’re hoping our team will be ranking well on the winners’ podium, that we will have smooth links between the sailing and running legs so we can optimise our team and resources, and keep our target in site!

No more SEO jokes!

We’d like to say a huge thank you to ClickThrough for its support and sponsorship.

If you want to support the Samantha Dickson Brain Tumour Trust, then please sponsor me on our Just Giving page.

Team Satisfaction, over and out!

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About the author:

John Newton has 14 years of strategic marketing experience across Online Display, Search Marketing and TV and Outdoor Advertising, in companies which include Yahoo!, ITV and TNS Global. John has written on blog monetisation for Web Designer magazine and was the editor of ClickThrough’s two books. John is a CIM Chartered Marketer.