And senior administrative assistant Lisa Pearce says she calls on her Oahu experience when she's bombarded with requests. "I know how hard it can be to ask for help. So I keep that in mind when I already have a lot going on and somebody else asks me for something."

McIntosh Hill, Saturday, 5 p.m.
The sun is sinking as Team Seagate dons climbing harnesses at the top of a mountain. Gripping the ropes, they walk backward over the crest.

It's a shallow drop, at first. But for the final hundred feet, they're leaning back to keep their feet in contact with the rock face. Still, it's almost relaxing, sliding down. The golden sunset brightens the cliff. Then Craig's racing bib catches on the rope, and jams his belaying device. He comes to a halt. Unequipped to pull himself upward and untangle the bib, he begins to spin. But someone on the ground below ties an ascending device onto the rope. Craig reels it up and frees himself.

It's cold and darkening as Team Seagate heads for home. Pat's legs cramp again. With their headlamps again pushing back the night, the team creeps through the woods. It's nearly 10 p.m. when Seagate sees the lights of the finish line. They capture ninth place.


When Watkins held the first in-house adventure race for employees, in Las Vegas in 2000, he thought it would be a one-time thing, like the sailing program or the fire-walking exercise he had previously run. Now planning is underway for the third annual race.

"People are learning to ask for help," he says. "They're learning that failure is okay. And [racing] is such a high!" Watkins' own management style has been altered by his racing, he says. "I have a deeper faith in people," he says thoughtfully. "Instead of replacing someone who's having a problem, I'll work with them a lot longer than I used to. And I've learned something about crisis, too: Yelling and screaming at people ain't gonna get you up the mountain. I have some guys who are late with a product right now. Me coming in there yelling would be a de-motivator. But helping them - that's what gets you up the mountain."