Before the RigRun 2023 Challenge began, Michael “Swanny” Swan (left) and Jon Elliot had never spoken to each other. Even though they both work aboard the Noble Drilling’s Noble Deliverer Rig, this never brought them into direct contact.

However, as we’re sure you can already tell by the picture, these past few weeks have brought these two competitors together as they support each other through RigRun 2023.

But what was the catalyst for their paths finally crossing? A dose of friendly competition, of course, as Jon explains:

“RigRun has added a fun dimension to our lives on the Noble Deliverer. It has also introduced me to Michael Swan, with whom I’ve had a friendly rivalry for the past few weeks. Competing against one another to see who could travel the farthest distance, I had an excellent plan. Or so I thought.

“For over a week, I’d increase my mileage by 5-10km every evening and go to bed knowing I was in the lead. However, every morning without fail, I’d wake up to find that this Swanny had bested me yet again. So, I increased my distance even further, assuming that as I passed 40, 50 and 60km, he’d give up the ghost and leave me at the top of the pile. No such luck, and I gave up trying to burn Swanny off at 70km.”

Even though Jon had stepped back from competing with Michael, he was curious to know more about his RigRun rival:

“When Michael was pointed out to me in the galley, I was perplexed. He’s not what I’d call a regular cyclist or athlete, so I asked my associates if they’d seen Swanny working out in the gym that day. “Yes” was always the answer.

“When I finally met him after finishing up an evening ride, it was 8pm, and Swanny was about to start a 3-hour session before his shift started at midnight. I was really impressed by his commitment, even more so when I found out he does the same after work. He is the real deal, and I’d love to know where he gets the energy because I could certainly use some!”

Scoring points most days for this team, Jon is fitting in longer workouts and some rest days to ensure he stays fit and healthy. He’s been recording a mix of walking and biking workouts, and he is averaging 100 minutes on the bike for each session.

His team-mate Swanny has been recording workouts every day since the start of the event, scoring the maximum 3 points every time. Starting with a mix of 10 minutes of rowing, 10 minutes on bike, 5 minutes of core work and lots of walking, he has gradually increased his time on the bike and now completes 60-120 minutes per session.

And when it came to meeting his strongest contender, Swanny was shocked to see that the ‘Jon’ character he’d built up in his mind wasn’t what he expected at all:

“I’d never met Jon before RigRun, and I thought he was some young bloke trying to beat me to the top of the leaderboard. When I met him, let’s say, I was surprised because he was more “seasoned” than I was expecting.

“He’s an excellent cyclist and a very nice guy, and it’s only due to RigRun that we even started talking. It’s great to be part of the RigRun competition because it is getting people active on the Rig and bringing people together to work as a team, even if that means having some friendly competition between ourselves too.”

RigRun is about so much more than getting fit. Learn more in our article, ‘4 Benefits of Taking Part in the RigRun 2023 Offshore Fitness Challenge’ and, if you’re interested in being a part of future challenges, head to our Features Page for all the information you need.