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Sii Running Team – passion that isn’t just about kilometers

Bartek Dryl, Senior Finance Analyst working at Sii for 4 years, is the leader of a project carried out as part of the Sii Passion Sponsorship Program. Within its framework, over 100 people from all branches have run thousands of kilometers. Passion united people who have just embarked on their running adventure, and who can learn from the experience of their colleagues that ran a marathon a number of times.

As part of our new series, we would like to present Sii workers showing what the term “Power People” really means. The heroes of our articles want to share their passion, motivation, and pride with others. They feel fulfilled creating something important and it is the satisfaction that motivates them to do even more. They are happy as they can do something big with their team through work, passion, or help given to those in need. It is really important to them that the values they believe in are in agreement with the ones in the company’s DNA.

Why did you become the leader of Sii Running Team?

Bartek Dryl: Two years ago, Maciek, Head of Sii Łódź and a running enthusiast, came up with a crazy idea. He wanted to put together a team of forty random people from the entire company and encourage them to run 42 kilometers during the 40th PZU Warsaw Marathon, at the same time donating over PLN 40 000 to the Rak’n’Roll Foundation. It’s insane, but we found the forty crazy daredevils.

And I was one of them. The project ended after the marathon, but I wanted more. During these three months, we were training together, motivating each other (mainly online), and sharing our experiences. There was this positive energy and strength—not only in our team but also in the offices we’re working daily.

After September, I started to miss all this and came to a conclusion that it can’t end just like that.

So, what did you do next?

I applied for a grant for another running project, having consulted Maciek. And we got it! As part of the Sii Running Team project, we created a team of wild, positive people from all parts of Poland that participate in a great number of runs while promoting Sii values. For example, in June alone we were in Dynów (Ultra Przesilenie Run), Wisła (Wisła Halfmarathon), Reykiawik (Suzuki Midnight Sun Run), and Stockholm (ASICS Stockholm Marathon).

The team consists of both those who have just started their adventure and are not yet aware that they are already hooked on running, but also those who completed many marathons or ran around the Mont Blanc Massif. We motivate, support, and applaud one another, share experiences, and compete as friends. The project is all about great strength, sport emotions, and having a lot of fun!

I see Sii Running Team as a huge value that we have built together, and being the leader of this project is a great honor and challenge, which makes every day at work and every run weekend a great adventure and joy. Maybe this sounds a bit pompous, but it’s true!

You’re an old hand at running and the distance you’ve covered amounts to several thousands of kilometers. How did you develop your passion for running?

The first impulse that motivated me to start the adventure with running was really basic—taking care of my health. I believe that it’s the main reason why people start running—at least in 90% of cases.

I must admit that the beginnings were difficult—I treated going for a short run as a necessary evil. I think that the 2017 Warsaw Uprising Run in which we took part as a team for the first time was a turning point that changed my attitude and my way of thinking. “Gosh, I need to go running… again.” turned into “when will I finally go running?”. We didn’t have an official team then and it was the first race for a great majority of the runners from Sii.

It was an amazing experience for me, an adrenaline rush, stress before the start, euphoria after crossing the finish line, joy after winning the medal … Then my addiction began and it has lasted to this day. Now I want to spread it.

What are the benefits of being a member of the Sii Running Team?

It’s an amazing project, thanks to which you can meet a whole bunch of running buffs. We’re a running community and running is not about mechanical alternating between long strides and short steps, in very expensive shoes, in headphones on your ears, and with a strange, huge watch on your wrist … It’s about beautiful values and the resulting emotions—basically like in the case of any other sport, but here the rules are very simple and at the beginning you don’t need any expert knowledge to feel these emotions. Ambition, self-confidence, positive attitude, persistence, engagement, consistency… but also: adrenaline, happiness, fulfillment, and being the winner!

The project brought a large number of people together, allowed us to get to know each other, created a bond between Programmer and Financial Analyst, Tester and Graphic Designer, and so on… And it doesn’t matter if someone runs 5 km in 45 minutes or runs a marathon in 3 hours and 30 minutes—we’re all proud of each other.

How does Sii support the project?

Our entry fees are covered and we get branded running shirts and small gifts from Sii. Before some races, we come to the Pasta Party organized in our branches. Then we have a chance to meet new workers and take a tour of the office.

Thanks to the project, you can also take up a fun sport known as sight running. The cities look completely different before and during runs.  I recommend it to anyone that has never visited famous urban areas to cheer runners who are becoming tired and doubting themselves just to cross the finish line in the spotlight, only a few moments later! These emotions spread across the city, among its inhabitants.

And what does the whole running idea have in common with Sii and your profession? 

A great number of people in the company have a passion for running. Sii’s financial and organizational support evoke positive emotions. However, the grant itself isn’t a key thing. The project helps us discover Sii workers who share specific values.

It’s people that always matter the most. I am lucky that both in the Controlling Department in which I work and in our Warsaw running team which I lead and currently in the Sii Running Team project, I have the opportunity to be around fantastic, extraordinary people. I’m an important part of the team, just like any other member. This is what keeps people together and creates Sii’s organizational culture, including its values and objectives. This is much more crucial than all procedures, processes, rules, and tables. People and their values really matter. I’m glad that it’s also Sii’s philosophy.

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