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Accountant's Endurance Challenge

12 February 2016

By day Daniel Meek crunches the numbers in Costain’s Finance Department, but outside of work the Senior Project Accountant loves nothing more than getting caked in mud.

Daniel is taking part in two endurance events: the Nuts Winter Challenge, a gruelling 7km military style obstacle course, and The Beast in the East, a 10km trudge through the mud, sand and hills of the UK’s most challenging motocross circuit.

By entering these events, Daniel is looking to showcase Costain's financial talent, promote Costain’s finance function and communicate its successes and achievements to the wider group.

Both events aim to test every ounce of a participant’s stamina and mental resolve. The Nuts course near Dorking in Surrey was designed by an ex-para and is crammed with an enormous range of innovative challenges, numbering over 100 obstacles in just one lap. Many of the features were deliberately built into the location and were specifically designed to be as challenging as possible.

Just one 7km lap is a significant challenge but there are also two (14km), three (21km) and four (28km) lap options available.

Daniel’s no stranger to these events. While he has taken part in more conventional 5km and 10km road runs, he says he finds the muddy events much more fun and challenging. Two years ago he completed the 7km Nuts Winter Challenge, and last year he completed the 14km version. He also competed in the Beast event last year.

“I enjoy the challenges these sort of events present, they give me a goal to work towards. The motivation of competing against other individuals is also very appealing,” said Daniel, who is currently working on Crossrail’s Paddington contract C405.

The Nuts Challenge also acts as a prequalifying event for the National Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) Championships where people with a Top 20 time get to qualify for the championship, which is held at various locations in the UK. Last year Daniel set the 25th best time of the day and narrowly missed out on a qualification place.

“Prior to the event, I wasn’t aware of the qualification process and I didn’t specifically train to achieve that time, but it is certainly on my mind this year,” said Daniel.

The Winter Nuts Challenge is on March 5, while The Beast in the East is held near Swanley in Kent on May 7. To get in shape for the events, Daniel is running at least three or four times a week, covering around 40 or 50 miles. In addition to that, he puts himself through three high intensity sessions which focus on body weight exercises, including pulls ups, sprints, hanging leg raises, to name but a few.

To squeeze all of that in, Daniel runs before work, often hitting the road at 5am starts, or utilising the local park near the office at lunchtimes for the high intensity session, plus slogging it out at weekends and evenings.

“These events require a lot of stamina and all round fitness but it’s incredibly good fun, so being prepared and in the best shape possible is absolutely vital,” said Daniel.

“I remember when Dan did his first Nuts Challenge, again in winter, the weather very much colder than now, and well, I thought he was Nuts! said Tracey Durham, Senior JV Accountant – Costain Skanska JV. “But, though still as muddy as his usual pursuits like mountain biking he seemed to have really enjoyed it and was very determined to improve even more. So started a noticeable increase to his exercise regime, and protein eating! Now, when we see him disappear off at lunchtime for the gruelling park exercises in the pouring rain, wind howling, we don’t just think ‘Mad’. His determination & drive is an inspiration.”



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