It all started out with a few runners who asked their coworkers to join them in a 5K run or walk, and since its inception in 1995 the Mercedes-Benz Corporate Run, presented by Team Foot Works, has continued to grow exponentially.
There were 1,315 runners and walkers with big hair, head bands and neon socks in that first race, which was held at Mary Brickell Park in 1995.
Now on the cusp of celebrating its 30-year anniversary, the Corporate run has grown into a three-part series held in West Palm, Fort Lauderdale and Miami with more than 34,000 participants expected run or walk through a 5K course. The race has sold out in Miami, with 25,000, and 7,000 in Fort Lauderdale, according to representatives from Team FootWorks.
“Back then, there weren’t but two or three businesses that really had awareness that fitness was important for the company,” Team FootWorks president Hans Huesby said. “Now the big thing is to get together with your coworkers.”
Although a portion of the proceeds go to support the United Way, the race isn’t to raise money for charity.
“Our big thing is to spread the message: fitness in the workplace,” Huesby said. “Fitness can be fun. You don’t have to kill yourself to feel better and to look better. If you want to train for marathon or a Ironman that is great, but that isn’t necessary to get cardiovascular fitness and to get your weight down.”
Huesby said the series started from a spark from a few companies. That spark was ignited as runners in the companies took their coworkers out running, and they realized how good it felt to get fit and it was fun.
All three races begin at 6:45 p.m. The first race is in Fort Lauderdale at Huizenga Plaza, 32 E. Las Olas Blvd., on Thursday. The second race in West Palm Beach is at Meyer Amphitheater, 104 Datura St., on April 16. And the final race is in Miami at Bayfront Park, 301 N. Biscayne Blvd., on April 24.
For more information, visit www.mercedesbenzcorporaterun.com.
The Life Time South Beach Triathlon is Sunday, and nearly 3,000 triathletes are expected to swim, bike and run to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The triathlon will have relay teams, individual age-group triathletes and thousands of amateur and elite competitors. The competition will be held at Lummus Park in Miami Beach with international and sprint distance courses.
It will start with an ocean swim that runs parallel to South Beach for a distance of .93 miles for the international course and .5 miles for the sprint course. The bike course crosses over Miami Beach’s causeways, through downtown Miami and Miami Beach for 24.85 miles for the international course and 19.4 miles for the sprint course. The final leg, 6.2 miles for the international course and four miles for the sprint course, will have participants running through Miami Beach’s Art Deco District and finishing on South Beach. For more information, visit: www.eventsbylifetime.com.