Get Cripps to Rio!

24 August, 2016
by: Cripps Pemberton Greenish

As trainees at Cripps play a central role in organising the firm’s charitable events, our blog couldn’t give you a true sense of trainee life here without telling you a bit about all the fun we get involved with. Read on to get a flavour of the Charity Committee’s biggest event of the year, “Get Cripps to Rio” …

This summer, Cripps decided to celebrate the Rio Olympics by staging a firmwide challenge of its own – to collectively walk, run, cycle, swim and row the 5,767-mile distance between our Cripps  offices and Rio. Everyone got involved, and between 22 July and 21 August 2016 we staged various group athletic events to help boost our overall total. We asked others to sponsor us for the effort and all proceeds went to our Charity of the Year, Alzheimer’s Society.

It all kicked off with two launch events, one at our Tunbridge Wells offices and the other in Kings Hill. On 22 July, local sponsors The Velo House assisted us in setting up a stand with two stationary bikes outside where staff competed for half-hour intervals throughout the day. The highlights came over lunch with two relay races: Partners v. Trainees and Corporate v. Litigators. Sadly the trainees were roundly beaten by the partners, who put in a stellar effort (although many in the trainee team blamed the inferior bicycle!). On 29 July, Kings Hill held a similar launch event with two rowing machines, staging a relay tournament between the four teams Corporate, Commercial, Corporate Real Estate and Litigators. Between them the two events got the firm off to a kick-start of 195 miles, which, while promising, made us all rather too aware of just how far we had to get to Rio …

Exactly as you would expect, it didn’t take long for the firm to get competitive and a running departmental challenge was sparked between the four divisions corporate, real estate, private client and business support. As individuals recorded miles they covered, the Charity Committee compared how the divisions were doing based on an average distance per person. Corporate took an early lead, motivating a number of real estate teams – Development, Investment and Corporate Real Estate – to undertake day-long cycling relays, which contributed a total of 374 miles between them. Many (including me!) were motivated by the promise of prizes for individuals who submitted the most miles in each discipline, sparking fierce personal rivalries between walkers, runners and cyclists.

The key stand-alone feature of the challenge was the Tour De Cripps on 5 August. Here a group of 13 cyclists cycled 56 miles between three of our offices – from London to Kings Hill and finally arriving at Tunbridge Wells. The firm gave the cyclists a huge welcome at the finish line, where athletes were rewarded with prosecco and home-made cakes. Harry and Phil, who cycled the entire distance on a tandem bicycle, were first to break the finish line with a time of seven and a half hours. This added 728 miles to our running total of 2,674 after two weeks. But we were still behind …!

Throughout the four weeks, groups of walkers co-ordinated at lunchtime to explore scenic routes in the area and add their collective miles to the overall total. Walkers in Tunbridge Wells explored Wellington Rocks, Calverley Grounds and Hilbert Park, while in Kings Hill groups walked to St Leonard’s Tower, tried out local parks and even enjoyed a cheeky walking tour of the local golf club.

The challenge culminated in the longest trial of all – the Walking Challenge. On Sunday 21 August a committed group of 20 walkers ventured on the Tunbridge Wells Circular Walk, completing either 13 or 27 miles each. The full walk took over 12 hours and took the group on a tour through the beautiful rural areas surrounding Tunbridge Wells, including Speldhurst, Langton Green, Eridge and Frant. Despite the odd accidental detour, some seemingly endless hills and a few excruciating blisters, they made it and were welcomed with prosecco, a picnic and goody bags at the finish line!

With the help of 442 miles from the Walking Challenge and some incredible individual efforts, the firm made it all the way to Rio within the four weeks, smashing its 5,767-mile target with a total of over 7,000 miles. Even more importantly, the “Get Cripps to Rio” project raised over £4,000, all of which will go to our charity of the year, Alzheimer’s Society. Alzheimer’s Society does invaluable work in providing support, care, campaigning and research for those suffering from dementia, and Cripps is proud to support them.

Our fundraising is still ongoing and you can access our JustGiving page here.

Getting Cripps to Rio has involved some hard work, a lot of fun and the chance for a whole mixture of people to get to know each other in an out-of-office context, all working for a great cause. Next year’s trainees will certainly have a hard act to follow with this one!