It was a big weekend for the Volta team up at the Broken Arrow Skyrace in Squaw Valley near Lake Tahoe last weekend. We had runners in the 5k who braved 3,100 ft elevation gain, the 10k with 2,000 ft gain, and the 26k with a grueling 5,300 ft gain.
While two team members had been running consistently when everyone signed up in January, the rest hadn’t quite. They considered the intense elevation and thought it sounded crazy, but thought, “why not?” The more experienced runners encouraged and trained with those who were less experienced on early runs starting from our San Francisco warehouse, up Portrero Hill, and out to the beautiful San Francisco shoreline.
On Saturday, June 17 the 5k runners woke up excited and ready to go. At the bottom of the hill they looked up at the sheer incline and realized just what they had signed up for. They were scaling a ski slope. But they looked at each other, nodded, and set off at the starting horn with Volta’s SVP Operations, Jon Michaels, cheering them on.
They made it over rocky ridges, past sheer cliff drops, and across a rickety ladder to finish in the snow at the summit.
Day 2 brought the 10k and 26k. Runners woke up excited only to see hail–yes, hail–outside their window. It seemed to pass and the race was on so they headed to the starting line despite ominous skies and murmurs of lightning warnings from race officials.
Volta’s lead software engineer, Caleb Brewer, was running the 26k in sandals to win a bet with a member of the operations team.
“It was fine,” he said, “except for one time when I scooped up snow in between the sandal and my toe socks. That sucked. My feet were pretty cold the rest of the race. But otherwise it was fine.” Definitely the kind of mindset we want tackling our most complex engineering problems.
There’s nothing quite like coming across the finish line of a grueling effort to your team members cheering you on, whether it’s a race up a mountain or a tough week facing down the intrinsic challenges of startup life. Hard work, determination, and training make it possible. A great team makes it fun.
Speaking of which, we’re hiring! Check out open positions here and join us on the mountain next year–whether on the trails or yelling your heart out for your team.