Our combined academic/athletic biathlon is IBECC’s most distinctive feature.
When Professor White came up with the idea for having an ethics case competition, he felt it was important for us to try to do some tangible good in the world, rather than simply talk about ethics. Since he is a runner, he knew that a community 5K/10K run would be a good vehicle for this. Accordingly, we launched the “LMU 5K/10K Run for the Bay” and donated the proceeds to the Los Angeles environmental organization, Heal the Bay. In order to encourage students to be involved, we created an optional competition, in which half the team’s score would come from their major presentation and half from the team’s run/jog/walk performance in the race. We hoped that in the course of training for the run, students would appreciate the connection between mind and body. We also hoped this would encourage them to develop healthy habits early in life, and, in addition, to have some fun in connection with an otherwise stressful academic competition.
Unfortunately, when IBECC left the LMU campus in 2008 and began being held in different cities in conjunction with the annual conference of the Ethics & Compliance Officer Association, we had to suspend the biathlon. We re-established it in 2016, however, using a time-trial format, rather than a community race.
In 2016, we donated the proceeds to the Hopkinton (MA) Arts Center. In 2017 and 2018, our beneficiary was The School of Choice / L’Ecole de Choix, and it will be again in 2020. This is a high quality elementary school in Haiti providing leadership development education to children in extreme conditions of poverty. This is an appropriate recipient not only because it is a school in a poor country for students who can’t afford to attend otherwise, but Laura Hartman, the current Executive Director and one of the school’s founders, is a well-known business ethics expert.
We encourage students participating in the biathlon to ask friends and family to donate to our beneficiary as a show of support for the team’s efforts.
Divisions and Awards
Run/jog/walk division. First, at least two members of a team must run or walk a four-mile route that goes along the Charles River running path. This will be conducted as a time trial throughout the competition. (That is, you’ll be running against the clock.) Once we set the schedule for the presentations, students will sign up for starting times for the time trial. Runners/walkers will be loaned a GPS watch, which will record time and distance. Scores will be based on finishing place in gender. If more than two team members do the time trial, we’ll use the top two scores. These will be combined, and, in order to encourage maximum participation, adjusted according to the percentage of the team that participates. Teams will then be ranked to give us a run/jog/walk team score. The run/jog/walk team score will be combined with the presentation score for a “run/jog/walk biathlon score.” (Click here for a detailed illustration of the scoring. If anyone on the team is physically unable to do this, the team will not be penalized. The 4-mile course is technically wheelchair accessible.) Members of the top team will receive awards. Because the biathlon scoring has so many different factors (the presentation score, the fact that the walk/run score is based on “finishing place in gender,” the percentage of the team that participates), teams of walkers are able to do well in this division.
Tourist division. Teams may also qualify for a “tourist” division of the biathlon by covering at least 8,000 steps throughout the competition. This is the equivalent of 4 miles and can be easily accomplished by sightseeing in Boston. At least two team members must participate. In order to encourage maximum participation, the team score in this division will be determined by a total number of steps of the members of the team who participate multiplied by the percentage of people on the team who participated. Teams will then be ranked to give us a tourist team score. This will be combined with the presentation score for a “tourist biathlon score.” Teams that have some members participate in the run/walk and others who tourist will be put in the Tourist Division. Runners/joggers/walkers on mixed teams will be assigned 8,000 steps in the biathlon competition. Members of the top tourist division team will receive awards.
4-mile Run Awards
The three fastest male and female students will receive awards. (Any runner will be eligible for these prizes.) Also, the fastest male and female judge or team mentor will receive awards.
Nuts and Bolts
Scoring. For a detailed explanation of the biathlon scoring, click here.
Training. For training suggestions, click here.