Groups find multiple benefits to training and competing in endurance test
MIAMI, Fl. (Jan. 5, 2016) - Health and wellness has been a rallying point in corporate workplaces for a long time, but several South Florida corporate entities are taking that initiative to a new level by engaging their employees to train together for group participation in the Miami Marathon and Half Marathon.
The surge in entries from corporate groups is expected to push Miami's elite running event, produced and presented by Life Time - The Healthy Way of Life Company, to the brink of a sellout by the time the January 24, 2016 race takes off on the streets of downtown Miami, Miami Beach and Coconut Grove.
"Our corporate team programs continue to grow as more and more organizations are challenging their employees to take part in the health and fitness arenas", said Javier Sanchez, Miami Marathon Race Director. "Group participation in athletic events inspires a cooperative team building experience for all involved providing a truly accomplished feeling when finish lines are crossed and goals achieved."
Companies and groups representing Motorola, Brightstar, World Fuel, Millicom, Microsoft, Carnival Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, Baptist Health, FPL, ADP, Miami-Dade College, Florida International University and more will be among the 25,000 runners that participate in the race.
"It's about camaraderie and healthy competition," said Marcela Todd, who coordinates the group at Motorola's South Florida headquarters in Plantation. "Everyone supports each other and helps each other be motivated."
Success in the workspace often boils down to the bond between co-workers and their ability to work as a team toward common goals. Many corporations have found group participation in endurance tests and the exhilaration of accomplishing goals can be major contributors to the team building it takes to succeed in business.
Royal Caribbean has its own year-round wellness program at all of its corporate offices as well as on-site gyms in each building and even a corporate track team. Running groups meet Monday and Wednesday night at corporate headquarters at the Port of Miami and run over the bridge into downtown and back.
"We have always brought the Miami Marathon team to our health and fitness fairs and national run-at-work days to give information to employees about the race," said Kim Tillman, the cruise line's Wellness Director. "By getting people involved in the workplace, it makes it easier for them to participate. Lots of people run together in the morning and at lunch."
Brightstar, one of the largest cellular distributor's in the country, is based in Miami and engaged with the Miami Marathon in 2015 as a fundraiser for the company's foundation.
This year, 62 runners from the corporate office will participate in the Marathon.
"Everyone is into being healthy and eating healthy," said Cristina Lopez, who heads up the team. "We have a few guys who do the Ironman Triathlon and they are the ones who coach everybody in a six-month training program. We meet outside our offices every Tuesday and Thursday. It's a great way to spend time together other than just working. The marathon is such a great thing. Who doesn't want to run in it?"
Weekly newsletters go out to the team with health and diet suggestions.
"We are such a large corporation that we don't usually get to talk to each other and socialize with each other," Lopez said. "So this is so good in so many ways. Social. Health. It's amazing. We get a tent on race day and stay there all day."
The team at Baptist Health has grown to about 100 members since the run club was started in 2012.
"The goal was to encourage the population of Baptist to be more physically active," said team leader Timothy Katz. "We have clubs at most of our locations. People get together in the evenings twice a week to run three-to-five miles to train. It's a fun thing. People get to know each other. Walls get broken down and you meet people you otherwise would not have met. And hopefully everybody gets in better shape. There are a lot of competitive people within Baptist so they tend to push each other."
At Millicom, where they provide mobile, broadband and television services to Latin America and Africa, the Miami Marathon program not only has extended to 61 employees, but they are bringing along 17 family members as well.
"We have some people who love to run and we decided to present it to everybody and create this team and promote health in the company," said team leader Fabrizia Barela. "Everybody is getting very excited. A lot of people who had never run before signed up, like me."
About the Miami Marathon
The Miami Marathon is Florida's elite distance race with 25,000 runners representing all 50 states and more than 80 countries converging on Miami and South Beach to experience one of the most unique courses in the world. The race has come a long way since 3,400 runners participated in the first Miami Marathon in 2003. Participants include elite runners, top age-group competitors, and many thousands who run for charity and to achieve their own personal goals. Together they enjoy the tropical views and the sounds of South Florida, with a diverse array of entertainment blended into the experience, and generate more than $50 million in total economic impact for the city of Miami and Miami-Dade County.
About Life TimeSM, The Healthy Way of Life Company
Life Time is a privately held, comprehensive health and lifestyle company that offers a personalized and scientific approach to long-term health and wellness. Through its portfolio of distinctive resort-like destinations, athletic events and corporate health services, the Healthy Way of Life Company helps members achieve their goals everyday with the support of a team of dedicated professionals and an array of proprietary health assessments. As of January 1, 2016, the company operates 119 centers in 26 states and 34 major markets under the LIFE TIME FITNESS® and LIFE TIME ATHLETIC® brands in the United States and Canada. Additional information is available at LifetimeFitness.com.