Team Falcon Causes a Ruckus

Posted by Danielle DeBenedictis on Jun 25, 2012 3:45:00 PM

On June 16, 2012, a team that included seven Hill & Partners employees, embarked on a four-mile journey, conquering woods, mud, netting, hills, poles, gorilla bars, ropes of various sorts, tunnels, walls, hurdles and more. The idea began with Hill & Partners’ Associate Project Manager, Rick Lenz. He convinced almost half of the H&P team to get on board and deemed the newfound team, “Team Falcon,” inspired by the office’s recognition emblem that represents H&P’s drive to excel ‘above and beyond’ expectations. This ‘above and beyond’ sentiment that Hill & Partners continuously fosters has shown to extend beyond just the office and the show floor. The people of H&P are naturally committed, driven, and well-suited to take on the challenges and obstacles that come their way.

No one quite knew what to expect going into the run, especially not the overwhelming sense of accomplishment and team pride that came along with crossing the finish line. Here are the stories from the seven H&P participants of Ruckus Run 2012:


Rick Lenz, Gorilla Bars, Ruckus Run

I would say competing in an event like this is a great way to stay motivated to workout. It was a tough run but very rewarding to finish. There is a sense of accomplishment. Doing it with friends made it that more special. It is an experience I will never forget. I plan to run many more of these in the future but will always remember this one because it was a new experience for all of us and we shared it together. It was also great to have so many people come out and cheer us on!


Mike Vallone, Rope Tower, Ruckus Run

I wouldn’t have finished Ruckus without this team support. In fact, I wouldn’t have even started it (they didn’t leave me much choice in the matter). But it couldn’t have been a better experience and I owe it to this great group of people. Bring on the next run!


Amy Connery of Hill & Partners on Gorilla Bars, Ruckus Run

This is the first race/challenge I have ever competed in in my life. I decided the morning of that the only way to go into this was with an open mind and determination to have fun and make it to the finish line.  Although the running portion was a real challenge for me, having my team there to push me and keep me going really helped. I am so thankful that they were with me all the way to the end. I had so much fun, did things I never thought I could do and inspired a few people along the way. All in all it was a fantastic experience and one that I am looking forward to repeating next year. Thank you Rick for putting our Team Falcon together, I will always remember this experience and the people I did it with.


Chris Odlum, Air Loops, Ruckus Run

The Ruckus Run was a great way to motivate me to get back into an active lifestyle. It actually made me add in working out into my daily routine to make sure that I was able to compete in the race. The actual race was a much more enjoyable experience then I thought going into it. Although, it was a challenge, the sense of accomplishment felt amazing when I slid down the slide to the finish line. Having the support of my team along with family and friends on the sidelines made it that much better. I honestly didn’t know what to expect going into it but I would definitely sign up for another Ruckus Run in a heartbeat!


Danielle DeBenedictis, Mud Bridge, Ruckus Run

Ruckus was a very memorable experience for all of us (guess that’s why we’re all still talking about it!) It served as awesome motivation to push me to start running more. I ended up building up my endurance way past the point I thought I could. When the big day came, although starting off a bit nervous about being that one person lagging at the end, a few teammates and I ended up using our competitive spirit to motivate each other to just keep moving and to keep moving faster. I unexpectedly ended up finishing second out of our Hill & Partners team. I had mud from head to toe, it felt as though my over-sized shirt weighed 10 extra pounds from mud and water, and I had cuts all down my legs, but once I finally crossed that finish line, it was such a satisfying feeling. It was a great lesson in pushing yourself in things that you otherwise wouldn’t have thought you could do. I’m so glad I could compete with teammates from Hill & Partners. Our determination, strength, and drive to succeed really made the whole experience a lot of fun.


Rachelle Kulak of Hill & Partners, Ruckus Run

I absolutely loved participating in the Ruckus Run.  It had the perfect ingredients: mud, sweat, obstacles, and exhaustion.  Although after having read that last sentence I think my idea of a good time could be skewed in comparison to the majority of the population.  It was a really inspiring sight to see how many people in our company that weren’t running the race came to give us their support and literally scream encouragement at us.  I believe you learn a lot about a person when you’ve gone through something physically/mentally taxing with them.  I consider myself exceptionally lucky to have been able to garner an even better appreciation and understanding of some of my teammates (i.e coworkers) through this challenge.  I already knew this first hand, but it was even more apparent after the race how I have the pleasure of working with a team of tenacious, supportive, determined, and overall amazing people.  I guess that is sappy enough for me today.


Matt Johnson Finishing Ruckus Run

Running the Ruckus was one of the coolest experiences I have had in a long time.  I didn’t know what to expect form the course itself.  Once we started running, I was quickly introduced to a three foot deep mud puddle… from that point on, I knew it was anything goes!  Although the course and distance were very challenging, I went into the event looking to have a fun time and was not disappointed. We had a team of eight people with varying levels of fitness so staying proved to be a challenge in itself.  I did my best to not lag too far behind Amy and Rachelle. When I wanted to stop and take a breather, they pushed me to keep moving… I can still hear Rachelle telling me “It will feel better on your hamstrings” when I ran up a hill rather than taking my time. All in all, for the first of what I plan to be many, obstacle course races, I am proud I was able to finish the race along side some teammates.  Pushing them and them pushing me made the experience all the better.


Michael McMahon came to the Ruckus Run to support the team made up of half of his dedicated employees. He enthusiastically served as Team Falcon’s number one cheerleader and official photographer.

Michael McMahon at the Ruckus Run

“I’ve been thinking about how inspiring your effort was this past weekend.  This is exactly the type of culture that I think makes one company more exceptional than another.  Rick comes up with an idea, and rally’s a group of people to experience something new.  Seven people out of sixteen accepting Rick’s challenge to do something crazy is just too cool.  I was standing there watching you guys, and wishing I could jump the fence and gasp and flop my way to the finish.”


Team Falcon, Ruckus Run 2012


See More Ruckus Run Photos Here

Topics: Authentically Us, Community Highlights