The 2023 lab_ summer showdown
July 27, 2023
It’s that time of year again, when all labbers remove their VR goggles and put their latest ideas aside, ready to immerse themselves in the infamous lab summer party! And with this year's activities relying on our competitive natures, the action-packed day was no letdown.
After weeks of speculation as to what this year's party would entail, we met late morning at a mystery location in Canary Wharf. All was soon revealed. We were split into teams and told to get our game faces on. We were then greeted with our first refreshments of the day alongside some rather daunting looking equipment – we were at digital clay pigeon shooting!
It seems this is a sport that many of us had an unknown skill for and, as always, Joe, who can’t go anywhere without winning a medal, picked up the first gong, coming joint first with Jack. One point to team Pina Colada!
We headed off to our next venue. This is when things started to get really exciting! We took a lift down to the darkest depths of Canary Wharf shopping centre where we were instructed to strap on our helmets, shimmy into some dashing overalls and buckle up for some high-speed action around an indoor go-karting track.
After splitting into two groups, the first twenty adrenaline junkies took off around the hairpin bends. Little did we know that while the first group were out on the track, the second group were getting pumped up and did not hold back when it was their turn! With First and Judith taking the Sunday-driver's approach, the rest of the team had no qualms about a little back-breaking nudging or wheel-spinning around the corners. This ensured that both Kamran and Tom left the rest for dust, taking joint first place.
It was then time to take things down a notch. Our clever colleagues within the lab_ culture club had organised the perfect way to do so, with a scavenger hunt to take us from Canary Wharf to our next destination in Stratford. The following hour was spent taking selfies with pigeons, scouring the land for a farm animal, and persuading Mercedes showroom staff to let some of us sit in a convertible!
The competitive spirit continued even after we arrived safely at our final destination; a rooftop bar-come-games academy. Alice showed some great hand–eye coordination on the baseball simulator and Charlotte realised she had a newfound skill for hanging off a bar in the ‘beat the bar’ challenge, an outrageous test of strength and endurance. Who’d have guessed?
While we watched the sun set over yet another great year at the lab_ we toasted congratulations to our winning team of the day, the Chilli Peppers!