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André te Linde
By André te Linde
6 years ago | comments

Team Mastermind accomplishes the West Coast Challenge

Latest news | Passion for results Team Mastermind accomplishes the West Coast Challenge

Challenges of our customers are our challenges

As co-workers of Mastermind Consulting we are used to challenges of our custormers. Once in a while a customers challenges us in a total other area. We all know the invitations and/or challenges for a soccer, tennis or golf event. But what if the customer challenges you to participate in the West Coast Challenge. As long as you don’t know what the West Coast Challenge is, everything is fine, but then……..

West Coast Challenge

The West Coast Challenge (WCC) is one day endurance sport event for teams. The challenge is to cover the distance from Den Helder to Hoek van Holland in a team of two with one bicycle. The total distance is roughly 130 km and the track is almost totally along the beach. By changing from running to cycling the team must find a mix of speed and endurance to accomplish this trial of strength.

A total distance of 130 km. Each team member has to run for 65 km and to rest he/she cycles for 65 km. This is for extremist and politely and with a smile you decline the West Coast Challenge. The customer understands, but state that Mastermind Consulting is a sportsmanlike company.

Every visitor of our website: knows our passion for sports. Employees of Mastermind Consulting have run marathons, participated in Tour for Life, conquered several mountains by biclecle in France and Italy and skated the Alternatieve Elfstedentocht on the Weissensee. Knowing this the customer states that Mastermind Consulting should be able to participate the Halfway Challenge. The Halfway is 65 km long. This means each team member should run 32 km and bike 32 km. According to the customer every fit person who prepares for a marathon or the new cycling season is able to fulfil the Halfway Challenge. And a challenge is born ………

west-coast-challange-2Similarities in projects and a sporty challenge

It may not be obvious, but there are a lot of similarities between a project and a challenge as the West Coast Challenge.

Preparation is everything

Similar to projects, this challenge takes a lot of preparation. In a project you make a project plan to guide you from start to your objective. In a challenge the most preparation is training, but for the West Coast Challenge you also need to know your way. You can’t assume that you can cycle all the way along the beach. Tide will determine if you need an alternative route for the cyclist through the dunes. As a consequence you have to decide the points where runner and cyclist meet in order to change and continue the race. These points are similar to milestones in a regular project. You have to pass these milestones not to endanger the end goal.

Assumptions are the mother of a lot of mistakes

For projects as well as this challenge the truth is: assumptions are the mother of all mistakes. We assumed – based on the mostly south-western wind in the Netherlands – that the challenge would go from south to north. Besides this the northern part of the West Coast Challenge was unfamiliar. As a consequence we explored this part of the challenge. Wrong assumption, because the final decision was the Challenge would go from north to south. No panic: with the knowledge of exploring the northern route, we established quickly our meeting points (milestones) for the southern route and we are ready to go.

Difference between expectations and reality

Just ready for the southern route, Team Mastermind starts Saturday morning. It is cold, but otherwise the weather is fantastic. The sun is shining and there is almost no wind. Due to the weather the beach is so hard, that bike can stay on the beach. We didn’t need the alternative routes, meeting points, etc. Like in projects we were prepared for changing conditions. Luckily in this case the change was for the better. We were prepared for worse. Probably Team Mastermind had the heaviest rucksack. We had with us: extra clothing, rain clothes, extra food/drinks and equipment for small misfortunes, like a flat tire. None of these we needed, due to the ideal conditions and the excellent support a long the way.

west-coast-challange-3Always something goes wrong

Everything goes smooth for the first 50 km. Even the harbour of Scheveningen is no real problem. We know the last difficult spot on the course is south of Kijkduin. We know that the beach is soft and that the cyclist have to use a very ease alternative route almost along the beach. Lack of knowledge about the local situations is the reason of a mistake. The cyclist stays to long on the beach and has to walk. This mistake cost us time, a lot of strength and energy.

But again: No panic! We made the mistake and we cannot change the situation, we have to deal with it. Like a real project we cannot make up the lost time. You have to learn from the mistakes and prevent that you make the same mistake again. It is no use in taking to long to discuss the mistake. The situation is as it is and we have to go on.

Success is not a coincidence

With a solid preparation, good co-operation and communication, success is not a coincidence. This is true for projects as well as this challenge. Team Mastermind was prepared for almost everything, didn’t give in at misfortune and keep their minds on the result: realising the objective (in this case: reaching the finish). That is the reason our company motto is: Passion for result.

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André te Linde

André te Linde

Business Consultant

Want to know more? Get in touch with André te Linde:

  • Email [at] mastermind [dot] eu
  • Phone +31625190292

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