Teamwork and Triumph Radeas Employees Conquer the Rugged Maniac Challenge

When people think about the employees of a large diagnostic and toxicology lab that services places like North Carolina, Georgia, and other key states in the southeastern United States, the first thing that comes to mind isn’t usually, “There must be tons of athletes working there.” However, few people realize the value of physical fitness, camaraderie, and fun more than those who work in the highly-stressful healthcare sector. 

Radeas Labs of Wake Forest, NC, is a forward-thinking company that fosters the physical, emotional, and intellectual well-being of its employees, which is one of the reasons why the company sponsored several of its members to participate in the Rugged Maniac challenge. 

What is Rugged Maniac?

The Rugged Maniac is a race held in different locations around the country — twice per year in North Carolina — where the participants must overcome obstacles in a timed competition. While the course itself is about 3.1 miles (5 kilometers), there are over 25 obstacles, a three-story waterslide, and a significant amount of mud. In other words, participants get dirty. For a team of lab techs and staff who are accustomed to working in sterile environments, a day in the mud can be a welcome change of pace. 

While this may sound like a grueling and even dangerous way to spend a Saturday, the course is heavily staffed and monitored by Rugged Maniac safety personnel and medical professionals. In addition, it’s a team-centered activity, so teammates can ensure that their fellow participants are doing well. Having said that, this is no course for someone who is not in particularly good shape. 

What Are the Obstacles Like?

With over 25 obstacles, there are too many to describe in this space, but all are physically challenging and designed to require strength, focus, and teamwork. Some of the favorites include:

  • The Warped Wall – Just like the name sounds, this is an 11-foot wall that teammates have to traverse. The height of the wall makes it nearly impossible to climb without help from your teammates. 
  • Barzam – This is a series of bars hanging over a mud pit. Competitors use a hand-over-head approach to cross — or they drop into the mud and swim to the side. 
  • Pyromaniac – First, we should mention that all obstacles are optional, with no penalty for the competitors. Now that that disclaimer is out of the way, the pyromaniac involves jumping over a low pile of smoldering logs. 
  • Claustrophobia – This involves wriggling through a long dirt tunnel on your hands and knees.
  • Behind Rugged Lines – Everyone has seen a military movie where soldiers train by crawling on their bellies through the mud under barbed wire. This is a lot like that, but there are two pits with a dirt mound hill in between them.  

Team Radeas Lab

Radeas Labs formed a six-person, all-volunteer team comprised of four men and two women. Some of our teammates had competed in similar events, while others trained specifically for the Rugged Maniac challenge. The Radeas Team showed alacrity, strength, and indomitable spirit. The course was sufficiently challenging that no team member was able to just breeze through the obstacles, but in the end, the team finished strong and had a memorable experience to share back at the lab. 

Why Teambuilding is Important

Top-tier companies like Radeas Labs rate the ability to work in teams as one of the most desirable qualities in a candidate. Here’s why:

  • Working in a Stressful Environment – Radeas Labs is a growing enterprise that deals with a critical area of healthcare: diagnostics and toxicology. The importance of their work means that employees are often placed in stressful situations. The team concept that Radeas Labs employs means that no single member is solely responsible for providing results. Team-oriented people will recognize when a teammate is overexerting themselves and will take steps to alleviate the strain.
  • Bonding and Friendship – Employees typically spend 25% of their week working or commuting to work. That’s why team members often build relationships with coworkers that extend beyond the confines of the lab environment. 
  • Creativity and Innovation – Radeas Labs is on a mission to remove the obstacles from medical testing and to make it as convenient for the patient as possible. This requires out-of-the-box thinking. When all parties are comfortable expressing their thoughts, revolutionary ideas are born. Interestingly, the name “Radeas” is an amalgamation of the phrase “radical ideas.”
  • Employee Retention – Radeas Labs has extremely low employee turnover. Some of its employees have been with the company since its inception in 2013. Teamwork is a critical part of keeping valuable employees. 

The Rugged Maniac challenge is clearly not a team-building exercise that everyone can participate in. It’s physically and mentally challenging, but it’s also a lot of fun. The six employees who participated were rewarded with an all-day festival featuring games, contests, music, food, and beverages.

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