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The First Ever PalanHalf Challenge

How Palantiri completed 13 miles in different ways across the country

Runner stopping to tie shoe

As a remote-first company, we find creative ways in order to connect with our team members across state lines and time zones. Earlier this summer, Palantiri decided to find a new way of bonding and encouraging a healthy lifestyle through the first ever PalanHalf Challenge. The goal: completing 13.1 miles of activity in one weekend.

To make the challenge inclusive, there was no restriction on what type of activity a team member could do, and the timing was flexible to allow for breaks. We created a Slack channel for #running to encourage, inspire, and share resources with each other as the weekend drew nearer. We used the Strava app as one way of tracking miles, though other methods were acceptable as well (we can never resist a reason for a new spreadsheet).

Finally, the weekend of August 3rd and August 4th, a group of bold Palantiri took on the PalanHalf Challenge:

  • Alex, Portland, OR: It was super hot in Portland, so Alex ended up doing her part of the challenge as a bike ride instead of a run. Highlights of her 14 mile bike ride with friends included the occasional break in the shade and a bike shop with a giant sprinkler ring set-up in the street for bikers to ride through. To quote Alex, “It was GLORIOUS.”
  • Ashley, Chicago, IL: Ashley decided to try a new route and bike the North Branch Trail in the city. Due to technical issues with tracking distance/time she accidentally ended up biking over 35 miles! The route was relaxing and secluded. While Ashely did have fun stopping at Superdawgs Drive-in for lunch, taking a break really emphasized how uncomfortable the bike seats were after so many miles of biking. But the cold shower she took when she got home was “the best feeling EVER” and she is very proud of what she accomplished.
  • Patrick, Columbus, OH: While Patrick’s cross training wasn’t focused on marathon running, he told himself that he’d run as much as he could, then walk as needed. Nonetheless, he managed to complete the half-marathon by telling himself “keep the wheels turning.” At the end of his run, he treated himself to an iced tea and a big cup of water -- it’s important to stay hydrated with all of this physical activity!
  • Jes, Plymouth, MA: Jes got active and outside across the weekend with a combination of running, hiking, and swimming. She recently discovered a trail that follows the perimeter of a beautiful pond (with a little island that has a bald eagle’s nest in the middle) through pine trees and cranberry bogs. Accompanying her was her nine year old puppy Benny, who really wanted to play ball after a long day of outdoor activity, but ended up falling asleep on the ball instead. Jes, however was up for more -- quarterly challenges, anyone?
A close-up picture of a mixed breed (pug, chihuahua, and bichon) puppy asleep upon a small, orange ball in the grass
A tired Benny Brown after the PalanHalf Challenge
  • Meghan, Cape Cod, MA: Meghan completed her half marathon with a picturesque view of the Atlantic. One of her favorite parts of the challenge was mapping out a route in a different part of town from her usual runs. The best parts, however, were the water breaks along the way -- it was HOT that weekend.

Ultimately, the goal of PalanHalf was to challenge ourselves to get active and outdoors; in true Palantir fashion, we found a way to make it a collaborative learning experience too.

Meghan put it best:

“Just as we bring our best selves to work and make space for others to do as well, we aim to bring out the best in each other outside the 9 - 5!"

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