Are you a part of the fittest company in town?
Now you can prove it, and at the same time help out a worthy cause in the community.
Preparation is under way for the kick-off event that will start the United Fund of Surry’s annual fundraising season.
This year, for the first time, organizers of Downtown Rocks and Runs 5K are challenging companies in the area to participate in a Corporate Fitness Challenge.
“Take the corporate fitness challenge and prove that your employees are the fittest and fastest in the county,” urged organizer and United Fund Executive Director Beth Pequeno.
This year’s seventh annual event is set for August 16, and for the first time will feature a morning run.
“This year the run will get under way at 8 a.m.,” Pequeno said. “We have been doing an evening run, but we think the temperature and humidity will be down in the morning. Last year we also had evening storms, so we decided to switch it to a morning run.”
The race will begin on Cherry Street in Mount Airy near the Century Link building. The course will travel through downtown and along the greenway and end in front of the municipal building.
Pequeno said the course has been certified by U.S. Track and Field, and for the second year in a row will feature chip timing.
“Some of the runners who participate want to run bigger races and need certified qualifying times,” she said. “The certification and chip timing is very important to them.”
The challenge is part of the Rocks and Runs event and it works like this:
Companies put together a team of at least 10 runners and/or walkers. Teams can include board members, spouses of employees and employees’ children. Early registration is $25 per participant.
Each team member puts an additional $5 in the contest “pot” in addition to the registration fee.
“The company with the average fastest runners wins the pot,” Pequeno said, noting a trophy would also be awarded to the company.
She urged teams to be creative.
“Have your team wear matching gear with your logo on it,” she said. “The winning company will receive bragging rights and a trophy.”
Teams must select a team captain, who will set up their team registration at www.downtownrocksandruns.itsyourrace.com. Once the team captain is set up team members can register at the same site for a $3 registration fee.
Following the race organizers plan to have family-friendly activities downtown, possibly including a scavenger hunt.
So that’s the run. On to the rock.
“At 7 p.m., we’re going to host an after-party at Old North State Winery,” Pequeno said. “We’re going to have the band Hot Sauce providing music. They play a variety of party music ranging from top 40 to oldies and maybe even a little beach music.
“It’s just going to be a good time for everyone.”
Runners are admitted to the after-party free of change. Non-runners will be charged a $10 cover.
But organizers don’t want the public to forget the purpose of the United Fund.
“Downtown Rocks and Runs is the community kick-off event for our annual campaign,” said Pequeno. “This is the seventh time we’ve done this and it’s been growing in popularity. We have runners who put it on their calendar every year and make it an annual event.”
Keith Strange can be reached at 336-415-4698 or via Twitter @strangereporter.