As a show of support for the 2013 Win4Youth program, Adecco Group is sponsoring 70 colleagues from around the world for the Athens Classic Marathon this November. We’re extremely excited to announce that two of the colleagues about to venture into this exciting journey are from Modis! These colleagues have been selected for their commitment to excellence, and specifically their enthusiasm, team spirit and perseverance… and we couldn’t be more proud! Prepare to meet our Modis Marathoners, Dan Furlong & Maureen Roberts, as they blog about their experiences on the journey to Athens!
As I sit here and reflect on the first few weeks of marathon training, I still can’t believe I am going to be running 26.2 miles this November. Not only am I running a marathon, but everyone in my life is cheering me on already. I am representing Modis, Adecco, my country, and the children who are directly impacted by each mile we run through out the year! WOW!!!! The pressure is on. Not to mention the CEO of Adecco, Patrick De Maeseneire will be waiting for every single one of us come through the finish line in Athens on November 10th. Please, Maureen, don’t be last and make him wait for you!
My clients and colleagues are saying, “Why, how and WHAT?!” My mind is right though, I AM DOING THIS! Last year at our Modis sales trip for top performers, I sat in the audience as two of my colleagues spoke about their experience at the Energy Lab in Belgium. As I sipped my coffee in a morning daze, I thought to myself, “Good for them, butthey are nuts!! And what’s Win4Youth all about anyway?” These two individuals completed the triathlon in Barcelona, Spain, in 2012 – Win4Youth’s 3rd annual main event. I would never have imagined that at the 2013 Modis sales trip, I’d be the one representing Modis. Now I am just coming back from Energy Lab about to embark on the 4th Win4Youth main event. Unreal!
The concept of Win4Youth came alive for me as I sat in the training room in Belgium and listened to the Adecco leaders who created it. It’s simple, yet unbelievable. Adecco is a successful company that has a mission to help children around the world become better. They do this by empowering us as their ambassadors to walk, run, swim and bike! These miles turn into opportunity for children around the world! The organizations – which Win4Youth is directly going to impact – are in Italy, Thailand, Columbia and Belgium. The world suddenly becomes smaller and better!
After truly getting “on the band wagon” with Win4Youth, it was time to get to business and prepare mentally for this journey. The three days in Belgium were amazing. With 78 of Adecco’s colleagues we packed into the Holiday Inn in a little town called Hasselt. We were at the Holiday Inn to sleep only for five hours a night – tops!! This was an adjustment for me. Jet lagged and accustomed to eight hours! But we had no time for sleep. We needed to learn about diet, injury prevention, the software we would be utilizing for our virtual training, the history of the Athens Marathon, how to become mentally tough, how to run in your zone but also your heart rate, our body fat (yes, we were actually scanned for our body fat, along with other tests such as our endurance level and what type of sneakers we should invest in!) and so much more. We did this while getting to know other dynamic people in our own organization – people like me who are putting people to work in Paris, Bangkok, Singapore, Marrakesh and good old Boston where my fellow Modis colleague is from. The team of 78 people represents 40 countries. Some have run marathons and some, like me, are beginners! The energy of the three days in Belgium is something I will never, ever forget. We ran a 10-mile run on the last day in a small town called Antwerp – this was an actual real run, like the New York City Marathon. Adecco sponsored this run for 30,000 people!! And we all finished. This is the key: finishing, not how fast. It was such a family atmosphere where everyone was pushing each other to do their best. I felt and feel so fortunate to be a part of this group of folks and to have this opportunity.
It would be much easier to stay at the energy lab for the next six months and prepare with the team and the trainers there, but the reality is we need to work – put people to work and make time for our training. It’s not going to be easy. I already am making sacrifices in my personal life to fit in health and my jogging sessions, and my training has just begun. It will get harder, and I will need the support that I already have from my husband, family and friends even more in the upcoming months. I look forward to sharing more stories with my Modis family in the weeks to come. Thanks to all for your ongoing support. I am not going to make to Athens without your cheers! Don’t forget to walk or run to get our miles up – we need to get to 500,000 kilometers as a company by November for Adecco to support these children in the four foundations globally. Thanks for reading!
Hi, Dan Furlong here. I will be running in the 2013 Athens Marathon representing Modis in support of Adecco’s Win4Youth charity. For the kickoff training session in April, I was flown to Belgium where we were given tips on training and nutrition by a professional sports lab that has coached many world-class athletes, including Olympians and Tour de France riders. While there I met with 77 other Adecco colleagues from more than 40 different countries as well as Patrick De Maeseneire, the Adecco CEO. It was great to meet people from as far away as Asia and Australia, although I did not envy their 36-hour flights back to their homes. We learned about the charitable foundations that Adecco has pledged to support, and they are all truly worthy causes.
The weekend’s highlight was, by far, running a 10-mile race through the streets of Antwerp – this photo actually shows me at that finish line. There were 10,000 other runners, and the streets were lined with people who had come out to see the race. There were rock bands on the side of the road and some pretty wild festivities that I was reluctant to pass by, but figured I ought to finish the race before I joined in the celebration. As a side note, they make excellent beer in Belgium! It was truly an unbelievable trip.
After leaving Brussels I continued on to Amsterdam and then London to enjoy some travel before I went home to Massachusetts. Now that I am back I have been sticking to the training regimen provided by the experts at the Energy lab in Belgium. I am running four days a week, which ends up being about 30+ miles per week and is sure to increase. This should help with the nutritionist’s recommendation that I drop a few “kilos.” Nothing like being told you need to lose weight and then having to break out a calculator to figure out how much.
I am very grateful to Adecco for this opportunity and I look forward to representing Modis in Athens. While I am not guaranteeing a first place finish, I am sure that I will be crossing the finish line.