Four North West business leaders made a triumphant return to home soil last week after an unforgettable nine day journey from coast to coast across Costa Rica in aid of The Prince’s Trust.
David Pollock, chief executive and Warren Pryer, sales director of Chess Telecom, Jan Gregory, Partner at Ernst & Young and Paul Lawton, Chief Executive of Opal Telecom went the distance as the DevComOne team, finishing top of the leader board and champions of the epic challenge that tested them to their physical, mental and emotional limits.
The Costa Rica challenge is a 269km trek from the Pacific to the Caribbean on foot, bike, kayak and white water raft on some of the world’s most challenging rapids. With absolutely no luxuries, the brave participants camp in remote jungle locations and survive the gruelling adventure on a staple diet of rice and beans.
However, despite going back to basics in terms of food and accommodation, Chess Telecom’s David Pollock put his technological prowess to good use, keeping the team’s supporters up to speed with their progress by ringing through his daily blog using the latest satellite telephone.
David’s blog was published daily on Chess Telecom’s website, documenting the highs and lows of each day’s action such as his spectacular day two knock out on the descent from the Continental Divide.
“I had the crash described to me later,” David recounts in his blog.
“The front wheel had gone from under me and I used my face as a brake for five metres. Supposedly I was lying on the floor, bleeding saying “get a photo for the blog!” But I don’t remember anything until the doctor, Amy, arrived 5 minutes later!”
It wasn’t all blood, sweat, tears and meals of beans and rice for the team however. Their adventure kicked off A-List style, making the most of the last minute luxuries a night in New York could offer.
“We started with bloodied steaks and top draw California Pinot Noir at one of New York’s trendiest restaurants. Then off to an equally trendy bar for a Vodka Martini – big mistake! Then onto a trendy club before returning to our hotel, which turned out to have a trendy club of its own. Stayed up way too late, drank way too much… perfect preparation for the physical excursion ahead…”
Between them, the four intrepid North West professionals raised over £40,000 for The Prince’s Trust. They covered all the costs of the trip themselves so every penny will go to help the charity give disadvantaged young people the opportunity to make something of themselves and ultimately, make a positive contribution to the economy.
“The Costa Rica Coast to Coast Challenge was an amazing experience for us all,” said Chess Telecom’s David Pollock.
“The journey was about overcoming fears and hurdles, learning new skills and pushing ourselves to our limits to achieve success. The money we raised on the challenge will help the Prince’s Trust give hundreds of young people the chance to embark on challenging and rewarding journeys of their own. It is incredibly important for businesses to work together on projects and initiatives that help the wider community.”