Mercedes-Benz Miami Corporate Run

Mercedes-Benz Miami Corporate Run a party with 25,000 in attendance


The Mercedes-Benz Miami Corporate Run took over the streets of downtown Miami on Thursday night, turning Bayfront Park into a festive office gathering.

 <span class="cutline_leadin">Running for health: </span>More than 25,000 people participated in the Corporate Run in downtown Miami.
Running for health: More than 25,000 people participated in the Corporate Run in downtown Miami.
Gregory Castillo / Miami Herald Staff

Kristen Arendt had the biggest birthday party of her life Thursday night with more than 25,600 of the closest friends — as in packed-like-sardines close — she had never met.

It was the best one, too.

Arendt, who turned 25, had never been in Miami until this week. So, she gave herself a 3.1-mile tour of the city and in the process led all women — and almost all men — in the Mercedes-Benz Miami Corporate Run.

“What a fun thing to do on your birthday!” said Arendt, who finished in 17 minutes flat, so fast that she defeated all but five of the more than 11,900 men in the massive field. “I’ve run races on my birthday before, but never one like this. What a great city.

“The buildings were gorgeous.”

A customer service representative for Newton Running in Boulder Colo., Arendt traveled to the race with co-worker and friend Tyler McCandless, 27, who won the overall title in 14:57.

McCandless, a former Penn State All-American in the 10,000 meters, represents Newton — a running shoe company — as a brand ambassador.

“I’ve run big races before, but for a 5K this was amazing,” said McCandless, who was in the snow last weekend. “It was hot. It was stifling. I just tried to hang on.”

Finishing second overall in 16:09 was two-time Fort Lauderdale Corporate Run winner and last year’s Miami runner-up Evan DeHart, 28, who works for Moss & Associates, a construction management firm in West Palm Beach.

“This is unlike any race that I’ve ever competed in,” said DeHart, who wore a pair of running shoes he bought when he was a junior in high school. “I like smaller, more intimate races, but in this one your adrenaline pumps so much before the race it’s almost hard to conserve it for the race.”

Miamian Bryan Sharkey, 26, a former Gulliver Prep and Princeton runner who is a senior financial analyst in the planning department of Carnival Cruise Lines, finished third in 16:36.

“I tried to run with with him,” Sharkey said, pointing to DeHart, “and he tried to run with the winner.

“Tyler made everyone faster. What’s not to like with 25,000 people running behind you? This is as much competition in Miami as you’re going to get.”

Bayfront Park on Biscayne Boulevard looked like a giant tent city flowing with men and women wearing rainbow-colored company T-shirts and partying before and after the 5K. They feasted, they drank, they danced to blasting music.

“There are 484 tents in that park, and I think I know every person under them,” said TeamFootWorks race director Laurie Huseby, who first brought the Corporate Run to Miami when it was born in 1985 as the 1,300-strong Manufacturers Hanover Corporate Challenge. “Then it was just beginning to engage the community. Now it’s a fabric of the community.

“There are four cruise lines of 400 and 500 people. UM has more than 1,000. Baptist, 1,800. It’s like a snowball rolling down hill. You can’t stop it.”

Women’s runner-up Beth Young didn’t want to stop it.

The 34-year-old lives in Washington but said she works in Miami during the week “fighting health care fraud” on a task force for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Young finished in 18:26, joking that she could see women’s winner Arendt “from very far away.” She explained with a smile that it was somewhat difficult fighting the heat and the massive crowd snaking up and down the city streets “but a good place to fight Medicare and Medicaid fraud.”

Placing third among women in 19:06 was 2013 winner Guadalupe Merlos, 32, of Miami, a senior accountant for Best Meridian Insurance Company.

“There are so many people here that you really can’t get a personal best,” she said. “But it’s nice to get together with your company.”

Arendt, the 2012 national 5,000-meter champion for NCAA Division II Adams State in Alamosa, Colo., said the energy expended trying to get to the starting line was a bit intense but worth it in the end.

She said she needed to continue celebrating her birthday with her three teammates from Newton Sports.

“I have a cupcake waiting for me,” she said.

Read more Outdoors stories from the Miami Herald

  • Fishing report

    Captain Glyn Austin of Going Coastal Fishing Charters out of Sebastian reported that catch-and-release fishing for snook with live baits and artificial lures day and night has been outstanding in and around the Sebastian Inlet all the way north to the Patrick Air Force Base. Redfish and a few permits are biting in the Sebastian Inlet and are being caught on small blue crabs. Along the beaches, tarpon, bonito, jacks and sharks can be targeted all the way to Port Canaveral. These fish have been feeding along the big baitfish schools. Offshore reef fishing has been good for cobias and mangrove snappers up to 12 pounds.

A large Goliath grouper nestled into the Bonaire shipwreck off Jupiter.


    Outdoors feature: Goliath groupers make recovery but harvest remains on hold

    Dropping into the roiled, murky waters 60 feet deep off Jupiter Inlet on Monday, I heard the annual spawning aggregation of Goliath groupers before I actually saw it. Below me, I could barely make out the wreck of the MG 111 or the mottled, gentle giants that show up each year between late July and mid-October to keep their species going. But the Goliaths already had seen our group of divers and weren’t too happy about our visit. They emitted loud, bass booming noises that sound a little like gun reports – probably to alert each other and to warn us not to get too cozy.

 <span class="cutline_leadin">Under the sea:</span> The ferro cement sailboat Usikusiku sits 75 feet deep on the ocean floor after being deployed Tuesday as an artificial reef off Hollywood. It already is attracting marine life.


    Sailboat finds new life in final resting place

    The 43-foot ferro cement sailboat doesn’t look very impressive sitting on the ocean floor about 75 feet deep off Hollywood. It’s plain and bare with no design flourishes.

Miami Herald

Join the

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