For the fifth year in a row, AvePoint’s Global Headquarters in Jersey City, NJ participated in the J.P. Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge on Thursday, June 4 in Central Park, NY. A 3.2 mile race benefitting the Central Park Conservancy with running teams made up of employees from different companies around New York City, the Corporate Challenge played host to 30,000 entrants this year. To prepare our runners for the race while highlighting the importance of employee fitness and healthy habits, we decided to host our first ever “Wellness Week” around the event this year. Employee health is an important component in both work satisfaction, and happiness overall! Research shows that employees who work for businesses with wellness programs not only like their jobs more, but 67 percent report being happier at work, and are more likely to recommend their workplace to others.
To kick off the week, we invited employees on Monday, June 1 to join us for a healthy breakfast. Nutritionists have advocated for years that eating breakfast is an essential start to your day in order to get your metabolism going and maintain a healthy energy level. That being said, not all breakfasts are created equal, which is why we provided an assortment of fruit, yogurt, and granola to make sure our employees started the day off on the right foot!
Throughout the week, we also featured runner profiles on our internal company fitness blog, FitPoint. This was a chance for employees running in the race to share a little about themselves, what motivates them, and fitness advice for others in a Q&A style. In doing this, we were able to learn more about who was representing AvePoint in the race, and gained valuable insights. Featured below we have some great advice for new runners!
“Look at your work and social schedules for the week and set realistic fitness goals around it. It’s harder to commit to longer timeframes. Approach it one week at a time and write things down. Frequency is the most important metric for me.” – Michael LaVorgna, Enterprise Account Executive
“If you’re new to running, start small! There is a lot that will need to adapt and condition for running: lung capacity, heart rate, joints, endurance, muscles, posture, and sanity. It’s important to ease into it. Overexertion or “too much too soon” can cause any combination of the aforementioned to be injured, which can lead to lags and discouragement. If your very first run is three minutes long, that’s fantastic! It’s three minutes longer than you ran yesterday. Mileage will come, just stick with it and take proper care of yourself.” – Alana Gerrity, Project Manager
“If you aren’t signed up for a race or goal event, do it now. Don’t worry about your times when you start racing. Focus on the process of building your fitness level so you can enjoy the experience on race day. Races can be fun if you are well prepared and have realistic expectations. Being able to complete a race and feeling good about it will make you much more likely to sign up for another one and continue your healthy lifestyle.” – Timothy Maline, SMB (Inside Sales) Account Executive
On Wednesday, June 3 we invited the runners to join us for a Pasta Party Potluck at lunchtime. Employees were asked to bring a carb-friendly dish (not just pasta) to share and to support our runners. In the 24 hours prior to a race, it’s important that you fuel up on the right foods, and we wanted to ensure that our employees had the best! Fan favorites included pasta salad, baked macaroni and cheese, taco dip, and roasted chicken.
Before we knew it, it was Thursday, June 4 and race day. That morning, members of the Human Resources team presented runners with gift bags, while also practicing their “selfie” skills! Inside the bags, employees found their race ID badge, an AvePoint t-shirt, water bottles, Gatorade, a towel, fruit, and a granola bar – all items to keep them hydrated, healthy, and pumped up for the race ahead.
Thursday afternoon prior to departure for the race, we also hosted a healthy happy hour that consisted of fruit smoothies. Every Thursday we host in-office happy hours, but in the spirit of the week, we opted to keep the beverages healthy and non-alcoholic!
Featured flavors included strawberry-banana, mango-pineapple, and chocolate-banana. The latter option may have been a bit more indulgent than the rest, but it’s still healthier than a cocktail, and wellness is all about balance.
Once the smoothies settled, it was soon time for departure. After a fun bout of public transportation, the 25 AvePoint employees participating in the race made it from Jersey City to Manhattan’s Central Park starting line, which was packed with runners from throughout the city and surrounding areas!
In the end, everyone from AvePoint was able to cross the finish line with ease. In fact, several of our employees ran the 3.2 mile race in under 30 minutes! Congratulations to everyone who participated, and we look forward to participating again next year!
Nothing says healthy workplace environment like a fridge filled with endless free soda! Keep it up AvePoint!
Hi Frank. Thanks for reading! We do indeed have soda available to our employees, along with other options like tea, coffee, seltzer, and water. Like I said, wellness is all about balance, and we like to give our team a variety of ways to stay hydrated and fueled up throughout the work day!