How Options Ran The World In 2020

How Options Ran The World In 2020

How Options Ran The World In 2020

27th November, 2020

At the beginning of lockdown, we decided as a company to get out and active. With the lifestyle change from a bustling, sociable office, with lots of regular travel, to a more sedentary lifestyle, many felt they were in need of some fresh fitness motivation. We established a Strava running group for the team, creating a friendly, sociable edge despite the team being remote. During peak lockdown months weekly stats of the top runners for distance, time and altitude were sent to members of the group and, surprise, surprise, things got competitive!

We quickly evolved from posting individual stats to hosting group activities remotely and decided to host a virtual marathon challenge in May in place of the Belfast marathon. The team was encouraged to sign up to a challenge of their choice. They could choose from:

  • A marathon’s worth (26.2miles in walks/runs) a week
  • A marathon’s worth (26.2miles in walks/runs) over the entire month
  • A marathon (26.2miles) on the marathon day
  • A segment of the virtual relay, with each team covering 26.2miles.

We had walking, running and cycling challenges. In the subsequent months, we kept these challenges up and hosted both New York and London virtual marathons also.

After recognising the boost these challenges gave us and the strong sense of community and belonging, we were all experiencing, we thought about turning these micro-challenges into something larger. We initially set a goal to travel the distance from Belfast to New York on foot or bike over the month of May. We chose these cities as these are home to two of our largest Options offices. We smashed the distance in two weeks! So, we decided to think bigger and keep the challenge going we upped our target distance from 3,000 miles to over 23,000 miles. Our mission was now: Belfast -> New York -> Auckland -> Singapore -> Hong Kong -> London. The aim being to virtually “visit” each Options office. We used a platform called “My Virtual Mission” which allowed us to show our location as well as each member’s contributions. Our progress and our team leader board could then be viewed on our My Virtual Mission website profile.

To date, we have almost 120 members on our My Virtual Mission platform, and completed our target mission in 182 days, covering 24,859 miles. As a team, we synced our Strava running group and other fitness devices to track our activity from May-November. This effort has been a constant show of teamwork and commitment with several members accumulating over 1,000 miles on foot and on bike.

Over our virtual marathon month in May and throughout the rest of the year, we have been fundraising for our Robinhood Project, raising money for multiple hospitals and key workers and those who have been affected by COVID-19 across New York, London and Belfast.

To view our My Virtual Mission page:

To view and contribute to our Robinhood project page:

Sarah Coulter , Technical Support Engineer


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