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Up close and muddy with the
2019 Terrain Race team

2019 October 21 terrain race team

In front from left, Joel Miller and Ernie Larson;
Back row from left, Gabriel Porro, Chris Colacito, Jeremy Roberts, Brandon North, and J.J. Maloney.

It rained pretty much all morning in Monroeville, PA on a grey October 12th. Ordinarily, that might mean the weekend’s plans would have to be changed: sitting by the fireplace instead of having a picnic; cleaning up the house instead of mowing the lawn. But to the Terrain Race team from, the rain and cold simply meant that the conditions would be ideal for running, climbing, crawling and slopping through the water and muck.

The race — a 5K jaunt through woods and mud, overcoming about 15 obstacles — is a daunting one, even more so before the sound of the starter’s pistol.

I’ve always wanted to do one of these. I was nervous at first – I just turned 50 this year and I didn’t train beforehand — but it was a blast! I think I did really well and I’d do another one next week if I could.

Chris Colacito, Key account manager

But once the team got going, it was clear that all 7 would look out for each other, help each other out, and bond strongly together as a team-building exercise.

alpscontrols terrain race team

The alpscontrols team — resplendent in their custom-ripped, bright yellow, red, and black logo dress shirts — set out on a grueling 5K mud-and-obstacle run.

“It’s always nice to hang out with the guys outside of work,” says customer service rep Jeremy Roberts. “It’s a great chance for us to build team morale. In an event like this, you get to see who your coworkers really are.”

Among the obstacles that challenged the team were a set of Tarzan swinging ropes (the consensus of the team was that Ernie dominated these), a muddy slide down a ravine into a 4-foot-deep swamp-pond — “So cold,” says Chris. “Everyone’s moaning. It’s hilarious.” — a massive, heavy, low-to-the-ground cargo net requiring the team to crawl, slither and roll through the mud beneath it, and a particularly difficult upside-down — and uphill! — pole-and-ring climb.

At the end of the course, the team had to scale a 16-ft-high cargo net — not by any means a simple task after so much rain and physical punishment up to that point. But the team pulled together and helped each other out.

That cargo net was sweet! We all went through it together — and it really helps you back here in the office afterward. We’re all on a good page together. It legitimately helps us in our work after we’ve done stuff like that.

Joel Miller, Customer service

alpscontrols terrain race cargo net

At the race’s end, the soaked, mud-caked warriors exult in their triumph. Medals are bestowed. Tons of pictures taken. Stories shared and bonds strengthened. “It was fantastic, a great time,” says Brandon North on the customer service team. “Just to know you could do it, and see the guys in a different light. Maybe next year more of us will do it together.”

I had done this before, but it was great fun to do it again with these guys as friends. Not everyone’s at the same level so it’s a fun bonding experience, the guys all helping each other, working as a team.

Ernie Larson, Customer service supervisor

alpscontrols terrain race team medals

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