I hadn’t run, at least for pleasure, in longer than I could remember. High school seems like a good guess for the last time I took to the pavement for anything resembling a fun-run, so I was a bit pensive as the Fit for All 5K drew near. I figured I would warm up by biking from my apartment in Brooklyn to the race site at 103rd and Riverside Park in Manhattan, but all this proved to do was tire me out before I even met up with the iAcquire crew. Never a long-distance running pro, this put me at an even more immediate disadvantage. After wandering around for a few minutes and waiting in line for my t-shirt, I finally ran into our six-person iAcquire contingent.
A 5K, for those who don’t know, is a relatively short race in the lexicon of street races – only around 3.1 miles. You might not even be able to call this a race, and most of us certainly didn’t treat it as one. That’s not to say that Konner Smith, our video coordinator, and Kevin Chen, our client solutions intern, weren’t more than capable of posting competitive times.
The event was held by the historic 63rd Street Y, and was in honor of the fight against childhood obesity. As someone who has spent roughly eight years living between the Bronx and Brooklyn I can personally attest to what a suburban child would have no idea about. There are more corner stores than grocery stores. There are more fast food restaurants, Chinese food restaurants, delis, and fried chicken places than anywhere else in the US on a per capita basis, and the density of children surrounding these areas is mind-boggling. Coupling the availability of cheap, unhealthy food with the urban freedom and oftentimes lack of childhood monitoring that many of these inner city kids claim leads to insufficient diets bound in snack foods and processed meals that don’t contribute to anything but poor gastrointestinal and cardiovascular health in the future. So in seeing the 63th Street Y champion this cause, the marriage between civic duty of a city institution and a real problem in this very city was thankfully being addressed.
In continuing the spirit of not being a runner, Amanda Gallucci – our fearless event organizer – and I decided to walk the majority of the race. So, along with several elderly and similarly running-averse individuals, we strolled our way to the finish line. The general mood was one of camaraderie, and not just among us iAcquirians. Everyone seemed to not only be into the event, but into the message. There were companies like ours, groups of school children, community groups, and YMCA organized runners that all took part. There were people banging Japanese-style drums at mile one, and upon the first loop heading into mile two there was a clown on stilts. Stimuli was high, and the run’s charitable focus was never lost on the crowd or the six of us representing iAcquire.
Once everyone returned to the staging area and the medals were handed out, we took a minute to catch our breath and discuss what we had just done. It was a welcome departure from being in the office together, and opposed to simply gathering in a park for a day of communal enjoyment we all got up early and got out there for a cause positively affecting children in our neighborhoods. That in and of itself is a good feeling, and one that I am sure we are all eager to replicate in the coming months should a charitable opportunity of a similar ilk present itself. And next time, we are sure to have even stronger representation for an equally productive cause.
Written by Will Jerome, Customer Development Manager at iAcquire.