Scar Award – Lorraine the train and her blisters

Transformer Award – Sophie Stanton

Black Rhino Award – Dieu

Player Award – Dimitri and Nicolas for their continuous encouragement and DJ skills



Brutal and brilliant and never again !! What a country, what an adventure and what a team. I’ve never tried anything so physically tough and you “grads” were inspirational in keeping me going. As well as fighting your own personal battles, you all made the time and effort to help all those around you – I personally thank each and every one of you for getting me to that very special finishing place – believe me that you made the difference. Your grit and determination was amazing and bodes well for all our futures. Enjoy a well earned rest …….

For me personally, this journey was about being thankful. Thankful our bodies have the ability to do these amazing things. Thankful we have people in our lives that give us the support and time to train and participate in sport, because no one is an island. And thankful we work for a company that invests in the culture and graduate employees in such an epic way. In the 3 years this program has been going, paired with the Energy Station programs, there has already been a tremendous response and culture change in the US. It is an honor to be allowed to accompany these grads I’ve trained with for months to Namibia, which is a unique and amazing setting for such a challenge. I’ve trained with 2 waves of US grads now and the most rewarding thing for me has been to see many of them go from a confined mindset of “I can’t”, to “I can do anything with the right dedication, effort and grit”. And nothing bonds people together as a team like shared hardship and successes. I believe these lessons about leadership and teamwork will absolutely translate to our company and continue to make Ineos a respected company and a formidable force in industry.

There are no words for the stunning beauty of the sun baked landscapes of the deserts of Namibia.

We left the Skeleton Coast with an Atlantic breeze which misted our cycling glasses, all in good mood and spirit not knowing what was to come.
We run, walked, cycled and hiked through dolomite white, black basalt, rusted iron sand, pebbles, stones, rocks and boulders via the Messum caldera crater to the Brandberg. We all made it well in time to the top to see the burning mountain while the sun went down behind the horizon, temperature dropped quickly and we savoured the “braai”. After a “frozen” short night at 2200 m we made it back down during a very long day. Marathon, half marathon, 100 km of sandy mountain biking, loads of sugary electrolytes, falls in needled bushes, painful knees, sweat and tired legs brought us finally to the Ugab river and the finish in the Doro !Nawas Lodge in Damaraland, with the support of family and friends blogs, the strong hands of Jane and Denver, the support of Sophie, the lead of Phil and the pushing of Greg and the fantastic support team.

There are no words for the determination, true grit and positive energy of this group of Belgians, French, Singaporean, Germans, English, Scottish, Vietnamese, Americans and South Africans to run, cycle, hike and finish this young grad Namibian event all together.


Written by Chris Baker, Benedikt Beisheim and Benedikt Kannenberg

Today was the first day without doing sports, except from jumping into the pool. Besides that we enjoyed the good food, used the time for recovery and did two safaris. Directly on the morning game drive we were lucky to see a herd of elephants eating leafs. We also saw the Namibian national symbol, the Oryx in real life and not just on our plates. We also visited the Damara living museum, where we learned a lot about the life in the old days of Namibia.

After the second game drive in the afternoon with a herd of ostriches and a nice sunset, we enjoyed our last dinner at the roof top bar of our lodge. We had the time to look back on what we achieved and what will last before we all go back to work.

Experiences like sitting on the toilets next to each other under the open sky, after finishing the Brandberg, will bond us for a lifetime.

Not to forget the one or two well deserved beers and gin and tonic to rehydrate us after this incredible journey.

Now, we will just enjoy our last night in this great lodge, sharing our feelings and forget about our tired and exhausted bodies and have a great time with the extraordinary and somehow crazy team out here in the Namibian desert



INEOS offers the graduates a gift (one that must be earned) to experience an incredible adventure of a lifetime. The past six days events have been challenging and surreal in parts, set to stunning landscapes. This year’s graduates completed all the tests laid in front of them and crossed the finish line together (with no-one requiring the bus of shame), a testament to the groups determination and character.


The two things I noticed with this group was the constant laughter, even with the early starts, physical exhaustion and late nights. The second was the positive change in our mentality to the point none of the grads thought nothing of running a half marathon and cycling 35k to reach the next camp.


We all struggled in various stages of IN-NAM ’19 but the support and banter was always there. There are too many thanks to list here but a big shout out to the support teams with whom this would not be possible, Hans, Gordon, Phil, Gregg, Jane, Sophie and John.



Written by Dimitri Verheyden, Harry Brentnall and Fabian Knabenschuh

The final day began with another 4:30 am start…….. luckily the moonlit walk, to begin our final running section, through a river bed with angular peaks skirting our route was completely worth it. Our sore and aching bodies dragged us through the half marathon. Then the real work started, with the temperature rising everyone was struggling on the biking section with hills, soft sand and rocks conspiring to make life tough. The 80 km tour was a ride that felt like hell but ended in heaven. While on one hand, the desert was drawing the last bit of energy we could afford on the other hand it endowed us with the greatest views, atmosphere and experience. So besides the stunning landscape, lots of us had the luck to spot for example a giraffe or zebras in their natural habitat – a present compensating (almost ;)) every strain..!

The end of the day was the most incredible feeling with close to a year of training complete and every single person doing every single kilometre was an unbelievable achievement.

Let one thing be clear, there’s only one place we’re you can find success before work, it’s in the dictionary.


Written by Robert Raven, Leonie Tellmann and David Mikel

Day 5 is Marathon day. A scary enough prospect for anyone, never mind following with a 35km bike ride. Breakfast was at 5am to enable us to walk the first 7km in the African moonlight which was an amazing experience for all. Everyone’s leg’s were definitely sore after climbing and descending the Brandberg. As the sun rose, the marathon turned into a tough test of endurance which pushed everyone to the very limit. After a fantastic welcome from the guides and lunch over looking the desert, a lovely bike ride followed. Another tough start on the bike, uphill over sand and rocks, followed by an exhilarating decent which got the adrenaline pumping. The Save the Rhino Camp welcomed everyone with A cold, well deserved beer. Another epic day in the Namibian desert.

Day FOUR - The Brandberg Descent

Written by Davidson Ching, Sander Marchal and Adam Oliveira 

After a surprise steak and jagermeister dinner followed by a short night sleep under the stars we made our way up to the Brandberg summit. Without breakfast and armed with cameras and head torches we made it up just in time for an amazing sunrise. What a view! We took as many photos as we could but nothing could capture the majestic 360 degrees view of Namibia – we could even see the South Atlantic Ocean on the west side! The way down the mountain was a combination of blistering heat and heavy sore legs. It was very different from climbing up as we always had the views of Namibia facing us as opposed to our backs – definitely a strong motivation with the minuscule white camp site getting larger by the hour. With the camp in sight we spontaneously started running the last kilometre. Best beer and shower I had in a long time!! Sore knees and aching backs, but just enough to “live to fight another day” .

Day THREE - Climbing the Brandberg

Written by Ted Kretschmer, Dieu Ngo and Sophie Stanton

As we began to wake up this morning, everyone seemed to be focused on the task at hand: climbing the Brandberg. We all ate our breakfast and did our final packing before taking off towards the mighty mountain. It welcomed us with 3 hours of unrelenting steep climbing (or scrambling for us shorter folk). With our packs weighing heavy on our backs, every step we took, we had to earn. After the first few hours many of us were thinking this was an impossible challenge; however, as our altitude rose so too did our spirits (possibly due to the constant supply of sugary sweets we were eating but still…)

As we made our way up the mountain, the local guides pointed out the 1000 year old bushman paintings and explained some of the rich history that surrounded us. After making it to the first ridge, the trail flattened out a bit and we began to hike through what seemed like rolling fields of green. It was amazing to see this seemingly untouched land on the top of a mountain. As if the challenge of climbing the mountain on its own wasn’t enough, one group somehow found themselves guide-less and ended up navigating two thirds of the mountain through tracking footprints and following rock piles that marked the best route. At least we know if our careers at INEOS don’t work out we now have an alternative career as mountain guides!

By days end, every single person made it into camp with positive attitudes. Emotions were high – the climb took a lot out of all of us, but it has given us even more back. Once the emotions had settled, and people had stopped baby wiping away the sweat from the day, our amazing guides surprised us with steaks on the brai and garlic butter! A proper end to a long but rewarding day.


Written by Michael Savoury, Saleem Ackbar and Cara Lauber

Today was our first day of running and biking together, also known as Day 2 of the IN-NAM ‘19 challenge! It’s amazing how the temperature changes: We are all freezing at night and could barely bear the heat by midday. The most important thing is everyone has completed every segment of the challenge thus far, a step up from previous years, as I understand. Spirits are high and I’m excited to see everyone continue to forge on. Everyone has supported each other every step of the way and no one has been left alone for the Lions, with the exception of when we had 3 kilometres left in the half marathon this morning. Phill had us all split up and run alone to really take in our incomparable surroundings. It was surreal watching everyone fan out, INEOS employees turned endurance athletes! Distances are distorted here in the desert, and while I enjoyed my time alone with my thoughts, the jeeps upon the hill at the end of the run seemed so so far away. It was then on to the bikes, butts freshly sore from the day before. We were all excited to be closing on the 2nd camp but 7km in, everything slowed down. The sand was soft, plentiful, and extended forever but we made it through and were rewarded with a nice rocky ride, reminiscent of the Lanzarote volcanic island we had trained on on our way to lunch. It was hard to decide whether I wanted to sit on my sores or stand, but ultimately, my energy level led me to take a seat. As I headed out on the second half of the ride, I noticed a breeze at my back and a strange weightlessness… I had forgotten my Camelbak back at the lunch stop and turned around to see Lil’ Dicky (an affectionate nickname for the smaller of the two Benedicts) running it out to me. The later half of the ride was magnificent as we rode around the Brandberg, taking in all its towering glory. An incredible rock sticking up 8,000+ feet above the sands. The overall theme of today was to keep making our way one step and one pedal stroke closer to the base of the Brandberg! That challenge lies ahead for the next two days, we will sign off and let our other comrades tell that story.

This morning started off a little hectic. Knowing the hard start time of 7:00 AM that Phill declared, I was panicking on my preparation for the activities of the day. We all started walking together but soon after we began running people started to separate into their groups. I was grateful for the cool morning but it was freezing! Dimitri kept the group’s morale high with his portable speaker and tasteful selection of music. We all chanted together and it made the tiredness in our legs subside. We marched on for a while until the groups began to separate into even smaller groups. Once we were nearing the end, Phill halted us and made a great suggestion. He asked us run alone with substantial distance in between the next runner. This allowed us to experience the quietness of the wilderness with only our thoughts to ourselves. This was experienced a second for me on the afternoon biking session. I was in between groups and caught alone. I soaked in the scenery and the overwhelming feeling it created is difficult to describe; it did give me a healthy dose of adrenaline. I look forward to the rest of this journey and what other experiences are waiting me.

The complete desolation of this desert is part of its majestic beauty. We woke on day two to a moonless and cloudless sky which revealed the Milky Way and as many stars as can be seen from earth.

Most took time to enjoy the sun rising over the mountains, dreading slightly the heat it would bring later in the day. And the heat did come. It started to get quite warm in the last seven kilometres of the half marathon run, but we were mostly able to keep our minds off of it by keeping each other company. There was one spot in that last few kilometres where we were encouraged to break off and contemplate the landscape – barren and flat with great mountains, including Brandberg, towering over us in the distance.

The cycling started in the heat of the day after a bit of a break and similarly people broke off into packs. However, the heat did sometimes begin to overcome the beauty and the company of our fellow graduates. One hill was particularly long and had no cooling breeze. However, once up the hill and around a couple of bends, the Brandberg and camp came into view and day two was over, save for packing for tomorrow morning.

Tomorrow we start possibly the most difficult part of this journey, conquering the Brandberg. It’s looming over us at camp and I think almost everyone is a bit nervous.

Day ONE - Have we made it to mars?

Written by Sofia Jacobs, Jamie McNab and Nicolas Monino

Smashing first day today, struck it pretty lucky with the weather first thing which aloud us to crack on before the sun broke through and the heat started properly.

The landscape is other worldly, Boulder mountains crop out from nowhere. We stopped several times to take photos and appreciate the beauty of the desert. We saw a jackal at the beginning of the ride, a good luck charm! The weather was as we expected; unexpected. It was humid to start and then the sun came out. The entire time there was no one person who was cycling by themselves.

Everyone did awesome in the sand , Americans kicked A$$. It was so cool seeing everyone ready and trained for the terrain. The support team gave us tips, and set up an amazing compound that popped out in the desert landscape and gave us a beacon to the finish at 41 miles. It’s great to finally get on the bike,get moving, and put in motion all the planning, talks and training. The sand was pretty challenging at points, especially in the last 100 m, but everyone stuck in and helped each other out.

Finished the afternoon by getting a full body “crack” from Mark, he made multiple of us feel like new people. Gerrard would be proud of us because everyone has stretched seriously. The Scottish guys even managed to get a bit of sunbathing in before sundown. About to see what this desert shower is all about…