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Why Run? For Two Days? With Your Colleagues?

Why Run? For Two Days? With Your Colleagues?

Erin Everitt, Partner and Deputy General Counsel, leads the People Legal Team (Employment Law and Immigration Law Team) and advises the Firm globally on related matters. Wife of 1, Mother of 3, Grateful to Many. Next running – Ragnar Bourbon Chase.

I find it amusing that I’m known for running in the Legal Department. I joke that I run neither far nor fast—except it’s not a joke, and I’m not being modest. It’s simply a fact.

So, why would someone who is not a particularly impressive runner, and who enjoys running mainly because it is time I get to spend alone, organize a team of 12 colleagues to run a two-day, nearly 200-mile relay race together?

Spoiler: It’s not the smell of the van on Day 2.

Rather, I had decided to organize another relay team because COVID-19 had left me feeling isolated and craving something momentous and joyful. It’s not that more ordinary races are without a deserved sense of achievement, but relay races are an entirely different beast. (For the uninitiated, a relay race is a team running event in which each person runs a distance of approximately 5 to 15 kilometers and then hands off to the next runner, with a van dropping off and picking up runners at each exchange until each person on the team has completed three “legs.”) You run through the night. You sleep in a van. You subsist mainly on snack food, and only the lucky few get to shower between legs. Admittedly, my left-side brain acknowledges these races seem like a terrible idea that no logical person should sign up for, but they are nothing short of incredible.

Why Run? For Two Days? With Your Colleagues?
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Running Ragnar New England with Team Bad Decisions (our self-selected name) in October 2021 was just that—truly incredible. A group of 11 Legal Department colleagues, ranging in experience from “I have never run in my life” to “I dabble in 5Ks” to “marathons are fun,” formed the team with me. We came from different countries, offices, and practices within McKinsey Legal. We met near airports where flight schedules collided and rented vans to journey up to New England. We started in Connecticut, ran through Rhode Island, and finished in Massachusetts. Along the way, you learn a lot about what you can push yourself through, and a lot about your colleagues. Things I’ll always remember include:

  • raising thousands of dollars for charity
  • having colleagues Stijn Marquant, Joe McFadden, and Marcela Crespo travel internationally to run the race—because they are that awesome
  • twelve middle-aged lawyers bunking (literally, in bunk beds) sleep-away-camp style in the basement of our kind colleague Leta Applegate’s house (thank you, Leta!)
  • Rachel Dooley’s (our McKinsey Digital Managing Counsel) artistic spirit being leveraged for van decorations
  • waving off Van 1 at dawn for their sunrise start
  • Joe McFadden’s (who leads our Strategic legal team globally) glow-stick-man nighttime running suit
  • David Karp’s (our Anti-Corruption lead) penchant for color-coordinated running apparel
  • Sabrina Porter’s (our Senior Contracts Counsel) “thanks guys, but seriously, you can stop with the cowbell” look from our over-the-top cheering
  • the glamorous “night gear” look with reflective vests and handlamps
  • “Van 1 Mom” Kimberly Wong (Senior Contracts Counsel) making sure everyone always had snacks and didn’t oversleep for their legs
  • the relief I felt entering the chute after finishing Run 2 around 4 a.m. to hand off to an impressively energized Stephanie Weathers-Lowin (Litigation Managing Counsel) starting Leg 3 (and me and Bonnie getting to catch an hour of sleep in our sleeping bags on the floor of a school gymnasium at the exchange)
  • Christina Marshall (part of our Alliances legal team), new to running, beaming after finishing her third leg
  • the enormous smile on my face as I saw our team when I turned the corner to the finish line
  • Bonnie Lee (our vendor contracts team lead) in that unicorn costume – anything for charity!
  • the over-estimated amount of pizza, pasta, and wings ordered to our post-race Airbnb
  • laughing to tears at the Airbnb that night as we recounted the last 48 hours
  • Pierre Gentin (our General Counsel) writing a song in honor of the accomplishment

There is more, but a lot of what happens at Ragnar, stays at Ragnar . . .

All in, I cannot express the sense of camaraderie I feel with these colleagues, the joy of the memories shared from the experience, and the pride in accomplishing something extraordinary together. While many may never sign up for another relay race, I know each will tell you that they are glad they did it.

Why Run? For Two Days? With Your Colleagues?
We strive to provide individuals with disabilities equal access to our website. If you would like information about this content we will be happy to work with you. Please email us at:

So, I will leave you with this—we all have the privilege to work with so many amazing, talented, interesting people. I encourage everyone to think of ways that you feel energized and excited in your respective workplaces and roles (it doesn’t have to be running) and see if there are opportunities to incorporate your colleagues into any of those activities in an exciting or interesting way. You may just get an experience of a lifetime and a worthwhile reminder that there is always more to your colleagues than the job.