Team spirit, determination and endurance were the rule on Sunday 17 April 2011 in Ballan-Miré. It is in this small town not far from Tours (in France) that the “6h de Ballan-Miré” event was held: 6 hours of relay races, a circuit of 1.9 km and a blazing sun.
When participating in this race, Horizons University aimed for the podium. That is why it registered its 2 speedskating teams with the sole objective of beating the 115 other teams!!! The institute gave Damien Soncarrieu, a very promising French skater, the responsibility of managing the team. The self-mastery that he showed as well as the plans he implemented allowed the team to fully meet the established targets.
Back to the facts: At 10 a.m., the race began. According to Damien’s plans, one of Horizons University’s teams immediately escaped from the pack to take a one lap lead and reached first place at the very start of the race. Meanwhile, HU’s second team remained in the lead pack, fighting for second place. In less than an hour, Damien’s plan was a success: the first team was leading the race and had a very comfortable lead. However, the battle for second place was harder than expected and even if HU’s second team was maintaining its place, it was all still up for grabs. Hours passed, the sun got stronger and stronger, tiredness was starting to be felt and the 2nd team was still not sure it would reach 2nd place: despite its attempts, it still couldn’t make it. But, everything led us to predict that the situation would be resolved in the final sprint. Damien then developed a plan that proved to be particularly effective: he chose a member of that team to rest for half an hour before the end of the race. He would only skate during the final sprint. The plan was a success!!! The skater, rested, gave everything he had during the last 2 laps. Against the other teams that were tired, he was able to take the lead and put the HU team on the 2nd step of the podium. Thanks to team spirit, determination, endurance and ingenuity, the 2 Horizons University teams managed to reach the first 2 steps of the podium. Horizons University is proud of Damien and his teammates. CONGRATULATIONS TO THEM ALL!!!
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