Mechanics and design expert to Marathon Des Sables

by Archie Reid | Jul 10, 2023

During my career I have worked in design, research and development, and mechanical engineering. I have been at Cambridge Consultants for nearly two years and am now a senior consultant in the mechanics and mechatronics group. Being at a company like CC is fantastic, but when they support your passions outside of work too, that’s when it feels complete.

Periodically I get the urge to do something that takes me out of my comfort zone. I had heard of the Marathon Des Sables when I was a teenager, and it has always been one of those things I wondered if I could do. Although, even if I had been physically up to it, getting on was quite a challenge as it was always oversubscribed.

I discovered that one of my friends was also interested and we kept talking about it but never signed up. In 2020, I heard a rumour that applications were down due to covid and so I told him it was now or never. We both signed up for the six day, 250km self-supported race through the Sahara Desert. I had done an Ironman in 2016 and so I knew we had to train well to be successful.

The preparation for the event left me with setbacks. My friend had to drop out for personal reasons, so I found myself doing long days of training on my own. I also signed up for a two day 100km event to check that my fitness was up to scratch and that my equipment was ready. On the week of that event, I got covid. Unfortunately, getting ill destroyed my training plan. However, there was no way I was going to back out and so I pushed myself to do it.

I walked for most of the marathon, and to my surprise the majority of people were doing this too. I met a lot of interesting characters along the way. There were high and low moments throughout the event and the first day set me off with an easy start. The main challenge of the marathon was the heat and the sand. I enjoyed the hot weather, but the terrain was the main issue. At around 10km into the second day I was caught in a sandstorm that was supposed to last for three hours. This ended up feeling more like nine hours once it had passed, and some bad blisters had formed on my feet. Despite this, I was determined to push on and persevered with the pain. On the last day it rained and I couldn’t have been happier!

What is it like to work at Cambridge Consultants?

Cambridge Consultants sponsored me for this event and the charity donations I raised were for Hope for Children. This charity supports children all over the world but specifically in Morocco, and this was one of their main fundraising ventures. The funds raised were doubled by CC and this made it clear to me how much of a people centred place CC is to work at. Work life balance is a real thing here and you are encouraged through all areas of life.

Everyone at CC is very passionate about technology. I am yet to meet someone who isn’t driven or friendly. There is so much opportunity to work on a variety of things at one time and you are given lots of training so that you feel confident about what you are stepping into. No matter where you are in your career there is still something new to learn. The development opportunities are endless and you can upskill your knowledge in different areas every day.

I have been fortunate enough to provide my expertise on several projects. One of these included being involved in the automation of chemistry in a research laboratory. For another specific project, I flew over to Germany to meet the client and learn more about them. I found this a great way to interact and collaborate with the people I was working closely with.

Many of the projects I have been a part of have been robotics orientated which is something I have found fascinating. What I like the most about being at CC is that you can take your own career down any avenue and take pride in the work you accomplish.

If you are looking to work alongside a team of bright, talented individuals then take a look at the current vacancies on our website.

Expert authors

Senior Consultant in Mechanical Engineering | View profile

Archie is an experienced mechanics and design expert working in the Industrial, Consumer and Energy Division.

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