Mercedes-Benz Corporate Run

Miami Corporate Run provides bonding away from workplace

 

Former bike racer Alex Gutierrez satisfies his competitive itch by running these days and enjoys the camaraderie that goes along with it.

 
More than 25,000 participants from more than 800 companies are expected at the 2013 Mercedes-Benz Corporate Run, which will be centered at Bayfront Park.
More than 25,000 participants from more than 800 companies are expected at the 2013 Mercedes-Benz Corporate Run, which will be centered at Bayfront Park.
CARL JUSTE / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

More information

WHAT: 29th annual Mercedes-Benz Corporate Run on a 3.1-mile course through downtown Miami.

WHEN: Thursday, 6:45 p.m. start. Street detours and lane closures along Biscayne Boulevard begin at 2 p.m. and along Brickell Avenue at 6 p.m. The race course will be shut off from traffic from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Police encourage use of Metrorail and Metromover.

WHERE: Bayfront Park, 301 N. Biscayne Blvd.

WHO: 25,002 runners and walkers representing 884 companies.

For more information: mercedesbenzcorporaterun.com


lrobertson@MiamiHerald.com

Alex Gutierrez, a former pro bike racer, knows all about human stampedes. So he will not be intimidated when he joins 25,000 other runners and walkers Thursday in the 29th annual Mercedes-Benz Corporate Run in downtown Miami.

“In cycling it gets pretty cutthroat when you approach the finish,” Gutierrez said. “At least in running there’s no risk of a massive pileup and going home with road rash.”

In fact, the main point of the 3.1-mile Corporate Run is not to win but to share good times with colleagues outside the workplace through collaborative fitness. The city’s largest office party includes a picnic in Bayfront Park after the race.

Among the record number of 884 companies entered this year is J and B Importers, a bicycle company where Gutierrez is purchasing manager. J and B, which designs Sun bicycles, builds wheels and sells bike parts to shops around the country, fields a team that has grown to 24, with Gutierrez leading the way. He paced his CEO to a personal best in 2012.

“But we’ve learned that it’s not a race for running a fast time,” Gutierrez’s co-worker Chad Schmele said. “You spend the first mile dodging people.

“It’s really about a healthy lifestyle and camaraderie away from the desks where we sit 10 hours a day.”

Gutierrez and Schmele, who sit next to each other in the Kendall office, were cyclists first. They’ve adopted running as an alternative sport.

Gutierrez, 47, is now running 25 miles a week and cycling twice a month. He used to be a pro cyclist at the elite level competing in road races, criteriums, track races, mountain bike events and cyclocross. From 2000 to 2008 he raced for the Aerospace Engineering team and was state criterium and pursuit champion. Now he satisfies his competitive itch in 5Ks and half marathons.

“After so many years of the same thing — get up at 5 a.m. to do the two-hour ride before work and long rides on the weekends — I wanted a change,” he said. “Running is different. It doesn’t require so much time, but it does require more endurance. You also have to be more in tune with your body and its aches and pains.”

Schmele, 39, grew up in bike-friendly Oregon. Now he does 40- to 60-mile rides on the weekends and commutes to work every day on his bike.

“I used to ride to work when I was young and didn’t have a car,” he said. “There’s really no reason not to in Miami, although it did take a while to get used to the traffic and the lack of bike lanes.”

J and B pays Schmele $4 a day to commute in its effort to be a green company and reduce reliance on fossil fuels.

“That pays for my car insurance,” he said.

Schmele is a buyer for J and B, which imports parts from Asia and sells a line of beach cruisers and recumbent bikes.

“Cycling and running use different muscle groups, so it’s like cross training,” he said. “Cycling to me is less stressful on your body. Running is a more efficient workout.”

And the Corporate Run?

“It’s about being fit,” he said. “But mostly it’s a way of thinking about work as fun.”

Read more Outdoors stories from the Miami Herald

  •  
 <span class="cutline_leadin">Tribute: </span>Runner’s shoes are laid out in a display titled, ‘Dear Boston: Messages from the Marathon Memorial,’ in the Boston Public Library.

    In My Opinion

    Linda Robertson: Runners remember Boston Marathon tragedy

    Amber Seidle-Lazo had run 26 miles of the 26.2-mile Boston Marathon when she was stopped by police one year ago on April 15 and told the finish line was closed.

  • Swim Miami offers multiple courses

    Whether you are an advanced swimmer or an amateur looking to improve your time, the 2014 Swim Miami presented by Nike will have something for you.

  • Tarpon fishing

    Controversial PTTS goes on with added scrutiny

    When the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission decided last year to ban the use of a popular type of fishing tackle for pursuing tarpon in Southwest Florida’s Boca Grande Pass, many thought that would be the end of the zany reality show/fishing contest known as the Professional Tarpon Tournament Series.

Get your Miami Heat Fan Gear!

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category