R-A-C-E: Four Compelling Reasons to Participate in Corporate Road Races

runnersIn cities and communities all across America, businesses, corporations and other organizations are given the opportunity to participate in local road races. Most often these races will include a 5K and Fun Run, with an occasional longer distance race. However, because they are designed for corporate participation they will often include unique features not found in typical community races. Yes, there will be the t-shirts, water stops and post-race munchies. But there is often much more such as team competitions, awards for C-suite leaders, and prizes for teams donning the best running outfits. Corporate race events are fun…and they encourage fitness.

Here in Atlanta there are ample opportunities for corporate teams to join the fitness fun. The Kaiser Permanente Corporate Run/Walk is the largest race in Atlanta devoted to corporate participation. Produced by U.S. Olympian Jeff Galloway, the 5K Run/Walk includes a training program, a field of 400 corporate teams and 16,000 runners and walkers, and  concludes with the largest company picnic this side of the Chattahoochee.

Not your average  winners' ribbons

Not your average winners’ ribbons

The Button Down Dash, sponsored by the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, is a more intimate event designed to bring the Gwinnett business community together, support local nonprofit organizations, and enhance the health of the community. In addition to the 5K Run/Walk, the Button Down Dash includes a Fun Run, 10K and the ever popular Diaper Dash where fit mammas and poppas race while pushing their children in strollers. Instead of the typical race medal, plaques and trophies, the winners take home a coveted gold briefcase or the sought-after neckties presented to each finisher, (in addition, of course, to the t-shirt).

Wherever these races are held, the race organizers will encourage corporate teams to participate, touting the benefits of participation. What are those benefits? Below, are just four of the benefits of participating.

  Rally. Attract. Communicate. Enhance.


Corporate races provide the opportunity to Rally your employees around health. Research demonstrates healthy employees tend to.
be more consistent in showing up to work, more engaged at work and use fewer healthcare dollars than their unfit coworkers. Businesses see employee wellness as a business strategy and, therefore, promote robust wellness programs. Corporate races fit nicely into these programs because they encourage healthy employees to remain healthy and encourage other employees to embark on fitness. Many employees give testimony to how participating in a race for the first time was the tipping point in beginning a journey toward personal health and exercise. Corporate races can be a win-win for employer and employee.


Brian Durham, one of my coworkers participated in last year's Button Down Dash Diaper Dash.

Brian Durham, one of my coworkers participated in last year’s Button Down Dash Diaper Dash.

Promoting wellness through corporate races can help employers to retain and Attract the best talent. Imagine a job candidate going to your career page and seeing a smiling group of your employees dressed in running shorts and matching shirts for a corporate race. That photo may communicate more about your organization than anything else on the page. By exhibiting your participation in a corporate race, the job candidate may deduct you are a health conscious employer and there is a sense of community within your organization. Employees today are looking for employers who are committed to employee wellness. Employee wellness programming shouts we are 21st century and we care about our team.


Participating in corporate races aids employers in Communicating care for employees and their health. Employers across the country are embracing employee wellness, realizing beyond ROI, lower costs of healthcare and increased productivity, there is a fundamental motivation to care for their workers. It takes effort, time and money to participate in these races. Yet, many organizations will pay the registration fee for the race, provide team shirts and even offer an additional vacation day for anyone who participates. Why do they do this? Because they want their employees to know they care. By participating in corporate races, employers broadcast to their staff, “We care for you and want you to be healthy.”


The visibility in corporate races can Enhance your brand. It’s not just job candidates who notice your commitment to employee wellness, but also vendors, clients, customers and business partners. And when your employees show up to the race wearing their matching corporate-branded shirts, community business leaders take note. Furthermore, your participation in the event gives you the opportunity to share the good things happening in your organization. And think about this;  there is just something about running shorts, t-shirts and bodies drenched in sweat that breaks down the barriers often found in the typical networking event. These races are an excellent opportunity to connect with business leaders, existing partners and potential new customers.

Do You Have Additional Benefits to Share?

If you have additional benefits of participating in corporate races, please share them below in the comments.


This post was adapted from an earlier post I provided to the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce and the Button Down Dash.



About Jack W Bruce
Jack W Bruce Jr. is a novice blogger, husband and father of four, living in Atlanta, Georgia. He is a lover of God, a reader and a wanna-be runner. Jack’s blogs include www.jackwbruce.wordpress.com and www.jackintheteambox.com. Jack can also be found on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/jackwbruce.

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