Seagate holds an annual team building event for a week called "Eco Seagate" where participants (~ 200 employees) learn adventure racing skills and compete in one-day races. This year the 7th Eco Seagate was held at Queenstown, New Zealand from February 4 to February 9, 2007 with 225 employee participants. Seagate booked the entire Rydges Lakeland Resort for the event.
I was fortunate this year to have been selected to participate in this event. I was truly lucky as I wasn't selected initially but was given the opportunity when one of the participants dropped out of the event. In fact, I hadn't even nominated myself for the event this year feeling lazy. I felt that my chances of being selected were slim, seeing as I had nominated myself last year and had not been selected. However, my boss had continued to nominate myself this year as he had done last year, which proved to be a lucky thing for me.
I was a little apprehensive about my fitness level. I had only been extended the invitation to join on 14 December 2006 as a replacement. Chosen participants had known about Eco Seagate since early October and had been training for the event. As for me, I had a little over a month to get myself into shape. The funny thing is that I am mainly a couch potato, so I figured I had better head over to the company on-site gym and start taking some classes. To top it all off, I didn't know how to bike or swim. The swimming part I wasn't too concerned with, as we would be provided with life jackets and I was not afraid of the water. Biking was a different story. Luckily a kind co-worker, Aaron, offered to teach me. So one afternoon, I went over to his house, and he proceeded to teach me on his wife's bike. Lucky for me, snow hadn't yet covered the ground. My boss also kindly loaned me his 12 year old daughter's bicycle for me to practise on. Thanks to them, I was able to bike, not exactly very proficiently (not good at fiddling with gears and going uphill) but good enough to get by.
At any rate, I had a great time at Eco Seagate in Queenstown, New Zealand. The scenery was gorgeous and it was so much fun meeting Seagate folk from all over the world. The organizers and trainers did a great job and certainly made Eco Seagate a memorable event.
At Eco Seagate, we were divided into 5 tribes named after New Zealand birds: Kea, Pateke, Ruru, Tui and Weka (my tribe). Each tribe had 9 teams. Each team consisted of 5 people and a stuffed Tuatara (lizard). We named our Tuatara, "Bob". I gained custody of Bob and he now sits in my cubicle at work, watching the world go by. Our team was called "Green Power". Interestingly enough the name was selected by a team member who had dropped out, so we don't have any good insight as to what that is supposed to represent.
Here's my team: Haider, Me, Dave, Steve (Bob on his back) and Virat
It took us about 9 hours to finish the race. My team came in at 34 out of 45. Not bad considering my biking handicap. :)
I loved my time spent at Eco Seagate and started this website to share and record my experiences. Enjoy!