Outdoors

Among Corporate Run tents, wet runners keep good company

Runners stand under umbrellas as a woman hands out bags at the 30th anniversary of the Mercedes-Benz Miami Corporate Run. 27,600 people registered for this 3.1-mile run that begins and ends on Biscayne Boulevard next to Bayfront Park on Thursday, April 23, 2015.
Runners stand under umbrellas as a woman hands out bags at the 30th anniversary of the Mercedes-Benz Miami Corporate Run. 27,600 people registered for this 3.1-mile run that begins and ends on Biscayne Boulevard next to Bayfront Park on Thursday, April 23, 2015.

Steady rain drowned the enthusiasm of some companies, whose tents looked as sad, damp and deserted as the cake in MacArthur Park. But others put their freewheeling goofiness on and rolled with it.

“You’ve got to embrace it as part of it,” American Bancshares’ Gene Swindle said with a smile.

Swindle, of Miami, knew he was quite a sight. So did his co-workers. That happens when you’re 7 feet tall and carrying the large, curved company tent sign over your shoulder in a manner that suggests a scythe. And you’ve got a red bandana around your head, as did some of his co-workers. The bandanas, handed out by Verizon, were an impromptu add-on and happened to be in the company colors.

Nobody seemed as undaunted by the washout as the group from law firm Lydecker Diaz, who had 30 folks signed up to run and several more enjoying the kind of Thursday late afternoon/early evening usually associated with college.

Most occupied tents included food. Maybe a little beverage. Lydecker came solid on the former, heavy on the latter. Heavy rains only interrupted, not ended, their beer pong games before a tent spread that all but screamed “Happy Hour!”

Operations manager Michael Arias said it’s the ninth year the firm’s done it up for the Corporate Run. He doesn’t do the run himself anymore after the year he returned from the run to empty coolers and an unwatched tent.

“I’ve been here since 2,” Arias said. “People start showing up before 5. They get here, hang out, eat. Start playing beer pong and whatnot. The race will start. When the race finishes, we’ll be here until the city of Miami kicks us out. When the cleaning crew tells us we’ve got to go, that’s when we leave.”

Creativity Prized

For the first year, all finishers of the 5K run received a medal in the logo of the Corporate Run. Usually, participants leave road races with just a T-shirt.

Second perhaps only to the right shoe for runners serious about their road races are the T-shirts. The Miami Corporate Run honors the creativity in company T-shirts with three classes of awards.

The Biltmore won Best Use of Hurricaneheads, the running stick figure-hurricane symbol head logo of Corporate Run organizers Team Footworks. World Fuel Service came in third. Second was Essence Corporation, a fragrance distributor whose shirts bragged, “You may be faster, but I smell better.”

Structural engineering firm McNamara-Salvia’s spare outline of the Miami skyline over a colorful bay won the Best Use of City Landmarks award. Runner-up was Gensler, a design firm. Xtra Aerospace came in third.

International healthcare company Bupa used runners running along the jagged line of a heart monitor to win Best Use of Company Logo. UPS and CBS4 were second and third.

Sadly, there was no prize for the colored blocks T-shirt of Miami Dade College or the wit of law firm Maspons Sellek Jacobs, which apologized “We thought they said ‘RUM!’”

Nor did the costumes of AMC Networks win a prize, despite the believability of their zombie look.

Most participants

The logical leader in registered Corporate Run participants — 5K of prevention worth $5K of deductible — was Baptist Health of South Florida with 2,346, 8.49 percent of the 27,601 total registered runners and walkers.

Second was the University of Miami with 1,458 registered participants. Appropriate for an event staged with a view of the Port of Miami, the cruise lines — Norwegian (441), Carnival (423) and Royal Caribbean (376) — were Nos. 3-5.

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