Curtis Mase is a boss who wants to have fun with the people in his law firm, and he wants it to be healthy fun — healthy in spirit and healthy for the body.
So, a confident Mase, 51, made a challenge to his employees. He told them, maybe not so wisely, he was going to give a prize to anybody in the office — the Coconut Grove law firm of Mase, Lara, Eversole — who could outrun him in Thursday’s Mercedes Benz Corporate Run.
Then up stepped one of the employees, Ronald Sanchez, 25, who feels more than up to the challenge. In fact, Sanchez is going to give the boss man a five-minute head start, and Mase did not hesitate in accepting it.
“I might definitely be in trouble with Ronald,” Mase said. “I found out he is a serious runner, and he looks like it.”
Bad news for you, Mr. Mase, shareholder and managing partner: Sanchez is a bit more than a serious runner.
“I run every day,” Sanchez said. “I’m training for a marathon in Alaska. And I’m also running Chicago in October.”
Sanchez, who works for the firm in office services and attended Booker T. Washington High in Miami, is not into trash talking, but when asked point-blank if he’ll beat the boss, he answered back point-blank: “No doubt.”
That said, he added, “Other than that, I’m pretty quiet about it.”
The law firm employs around 30 people and after all the bantering subsides, Mase revealed some of his motivation for trying to get his employees involved.
Mase, who ran cross-country and track at Miami Palmetto High, said he continued to run after his high school days “… mainly because it is a healthy thing.”
And he was a little disappointed at his firm’s turnout when the Corporate Run was held last year.
“Just a few runners from our office turned out,” Mase said. “It’s easy to arrange a Happy Hour, and this takes a little more work, but it’s better.”
The concept of “Beat the Boss” came a few years back when four young lawyers were working in the office and, according to Mase, “We bet dinner. If any of them beat me, I would pay for them all. If I beat them all, I got a free dinner.”
Mase won, but noted, “I picked up the wine, which was only fair.”
Doing much of the work arranging the firm’s run has been marketing director Lara Fakhoury, who said nearly half the employees will run the 5K race this year.
She said the race is “... healthy, fun and promotes great camaraderie.”
Fakhoury’s main athletic experience comes in tennis, not running. She played tennis for the University of Georgia and was ranked in the top 100 in the word as a junior.
Nevertheless, Fakhoury will be lacing up her running sneakers Thursday night.
“Yes, I’ll be running,” she said, “just not necessarily in a straight line.”