Last night was the Long Island Workplace Challenge, a 3.5 mile run/walk at Jones Beach State Park. It was my 4th year walk-run-ing, and my second as team co-captain. Whoa do I have a lot to report!
First, my ascention to co-captain occured when I volunteered to help with the t-shirts last year. Every company prints up a shirt for their employees to wear while running, and the nice side-effect of all that corporate marketing is that people can find and cheer on their fellow employees more easily. Anyway, this year's shirts are simple - "I survived 3.5 miles" atop the race logo on the front, and our logo big across the back. As someone who mostly walks, I like seeing to be able to catch up to my coworkers during the race so I make sure to put something on the back :D
Each company that registers for the Challenge gets a site. Then you can order a tent or bring your own, there is a box-lunch option or you can use 1 of a handful of caterers, and you can also bring in food and drinks. For the past 2 years we've gotten a very good turnout - 1/5th of the company - so we have a better budget and rented a tent and hired a caterer to do a bbq dinner. Not that I eat the barbeque, but one of the perks of being a captain is that I can ask the guys planning the menu to order pasta salad as a side dish :D
The race itself is NOT my favorite part of the evening, and I was trying to talk myself out of walking - 90 degree weather, obscene humidity, complete lack of training. In the end of course I went. I was really pleased with the t-shirt design this year because I kept spotting my co-workers along the race, and that motivated me to jog a bit to catch them :D I finished the first 2 miles in 15 minutes, a good pace for me.
The race course is shaped kind of like a backwards, lower-case r . Imagine a vertical loop - that is the main length of the race. To make it 3.5 miles, somewhere between mile 2 and 3 they add a little horizontal loop through a parking lot on the way back. Right before the turnoff there was a crowd of about 20 people, and someone waving people off/telling them to keep going. As I got closer, I saw a woman giving a man CPR on the ground!! A police car arrived almost immediately. Eight minutes later when I exited the loop, they were still doing CPR, and the ambulence arrived a minute later. A 9+ minute response time is probably not so great for the guy, no?
I found out later that someone from my company was there when he went down and called 911 from her cell phone, and last she heard was that he had a pulse again. It's weird because in previous years there were more people stationed along the way on bicycles with Medic kits, and there were more police cars too. I hope the guy is okay, but I can't find any mention of him in online news sources.
Anyway, I finished my 3rd mile in 16:30, and the entire race in 53:30. I think that's my 2nd best time in the 4 years I've gone. At the end of the race they give out water, sodas, fruit and pudding - all things I can eat - plus a goody bag with a T-Shirt. This year Whole Foods sponsored the bags, they were made from a recycled plastic bottle and they're reusable for shopping - very excellent.
The best part of the night is, of course, the post-race. Something about getting super sweaty and gross while going 3.5 miles makes everyone really friendly. Plus there were a lot of endorphins. I finished the race at about 8, and the party broke up around 9:30 'cuz we were all exhausted and had work the next day. But overall, really fun and sucessful event. A couple of people in my group who I badgered into going for the first time both came up to me afterwards and thanked me for pushing them to come, they had had a great time and were looking forward to going back the next year. :D !!