Below is contributed content from Stiv Ostenberg.

Approximately 2,500 employees currently work (and live) in Silicon Valley and they routinely devote energy to the advancement of our community. James McLachlan is one of them. James, a member of the Interactive Entertainment Business (IEB) team at Microsoft Silicon Valley, has been running a boot camp during lunch for the last two years. Rain or shine the boot camp has never failed to run and it has fostered a community that extends beyond the camp itself to participation in mud runs throughout the state of California.

A group of boot campers participated in Tough Mudder on Sept. 18th, an 11-mile challenge at Squaw Valley that bills itself as “The Toughest Event on the Planet.” The funds raised at this event go to the Wounded Warrior Project to support our injured veterans. The challenging course consists of a 2,300 feet elevation gain, through a series of 26 intimidating obstacles designed by the British Special Air Service. Obstacles include scaling multiple walls, a prolonged dip in a tub of ice, carrying a log through a steep mountain loop, jumping into an alpine lake from a 15-foot platform, swimming while diving under barrels and barbed wire, finally finishing with a jog through a field of wires carrying 10,000 volts of current.

The event is not a race, but instead a tough physical and mental challenge. Finishing the course requires cooperation and teamwork, not just with your own team, but with the other participants.

The Microsoft team “Easy Day” completed the course just short of 6 hours, and earned the exclusive orange headbands. The full team consisted of Microsoft Silicon Valley's Ben Benson, Jeremy Leland, Roman Fuchs, Stiv Ostenberg and Justin Saunders.