All day long, Bret Fransen sits in front of computers — one after another after another — at Mount Sinai Hospital in Miami Beach.
So, being able to join 26,625 others in a massive office party on the run is just what this information technology analyst needed Thursday after a long day on his fanny.
And being able to outrun every one of those people for the second year in a row made the 3.1-mile jaunt through downtown Miami even more fun.
Fransen, who installs medical records software, won the Mercedes-Benz Miami Corporate Run in 15 minutes 37 seconds — 15 seconds slower than last year’s winning time in torrential rain but so much faster than the slowest runners that they hadn’t even crossed the start when he was already done.
“Oh my gosh,” said Fransen, 34, a former University of South Dakota runner who grew up in Southwest Minnesota. “This year was a lot nicer. There was a little breeze in some places that actually kept me cool. Last year, I remember getting done and it was like I had just jumped in the ocean — so sweaty and salty.
“It’s always crazy here, and great. It’s fantastic that we’re all here to get some exercise and be healthy and have a good time.’’
Guadalupe Merlos, 34, a senior accountant for Best Meridian Insurance, led the women’s field in 19:10 — four seconds slower than when she finished third at the 2014 Corporate Run.
“I love working in an office environment,’’ the 5-foot, 107-pound Merlos said. “But I need to run every day. I’m only worried that I’ll trip over all the people at the starting line.’’
While festive music blared from loudspeakers throughout Bayfront Park, workers of all ages began partying even before the gun went off to signal the start.
“A small city has been moved to Bayfront Park tonight,’’ Corporate Run public address announcer Dave Ragsdale shouted to the crowd. “This is the happiest, healthiest, happy hour in town.’’
Of the 26,626 participants, 14,335 were women and 12,291 were men. They represented 860 companies that, like their employees, came in all shapes and sizes.
Even the big-time bosses got moving, with 218 CEOs participating.
Karel Volot of Dedienne Corporation led the CEOs in 19:04, while Brogan Abernethy of Laplin Leichtling was the top female CEO in 21:08.
Thursday’s race conditions: 82 degrees and sunshine.
“For one night the receptionist and mailroom guy — are there mailrooms anymore? — got to rub noses with the CEO,’’ said Corporate Run director Laurie Huseby, co-founder of the event in 1985 with her late husband, Hans, who died in November 2014. “No complaining on this night. A great morale-builder with your co-workers.’’
Ten minutes before the race began, Huseby and her son, John, who has taken over the event with his mom, broke down and cried. Together, they spend much of the year at their FootWorks store in South Miami producing the huge undertaking.
“It’s very emotional for our whole family,’’ Laurie said. “I get scared on race morning because everybody wants to say hi and I’m like, ‘I don’t want to talk. I have too much to get done.’ But then it gets done and it’s like a snowball rolling down hill.
“You can’t stop it.’’
The Miami Corporate Run was born in 1985 as the 1,300-strong Manufacturers Hanover Corporate Challenge. Today, the largest team, University of Miami, has more competitors — 1,904 — than the entire field that first year.
The race awards the top men’s, women’s and coed teams with individual medals.
“I really like it because it’s an opportunity to get outside and meet other people,’’ said Jackie Kemp, supervisor of materials management at UM.
“And also, of course, we can meet up with our counterparts and enemies next door — Jackson Memorial. They want the U!’’ she joked.
Carlos Izaguirre was a perfect race participant Thursday.
Izaguirre, 43, is a “mobile notary’’ for The Strems Law Firm in Coral Gables. “I’m used to running around everywhere,’’ he said.
Izaguirre paused, then laughed.
“Actually, I drive.’’