The HHS Wellness & Fitness Program kicked off in January, led by Lifetime Fitness personal trainer, David Garza, with 28 corporate team members—including CEO Ryan Williams—all on a mission to improve their health through group lunch-time workouts followed by a nutritional meal.
“One of HHS’s key initiatives for 2012 is for all employees to live a healthier lifestyle by working out regularly and eating nutritional meals,” said Williams, “and I plan to be at the forefront of this initiative by leading the company as an example.”
A few weeks into the program, Garza introduced the idea of running the Austin American-Statesman Capitol 10K (Cap 10K) as a team during an educational briefing after the workout. The room fell silent as everyone tried to register the idea of running 6.2 miles through downtown Austin, and beyond.
“I had no idea what to expect when I came to HHS, and what I saw astounded me!” said Garza. “I found people who, on their lunch break, would come and tackle any challenge I gave them.”
The Cap 10K, which took place on March 25, is the largest 10K in Texas, and the fifth largest in the nation, with nearly 23,000 participants. Now in its 35th year, the event raised more than $72,000 for Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas. Previous charitable organizations that have received support from the Cap 10K include Meals on Wheels, Austin Children’s Shelter, and University Medical Center at Brackenridge. Eighteen HHS team members, along with our trainer and three spouses, decided to take on the 2012 Capitol 10K – Corporate Challenge.
“It was a great sense of accomplishment, and we even had fun!” said Williams. “Most importantly, I enjoyed watching all of our corporate office team members gain a sense of self confidence and achievement by completing such a physically challenging event.”
The group of 22 was split into three teams, capped at 10 people each, depending on how long they thought it would take to complete the Cap 10K. Team “A” consisted of: Vince and Liz Bartges, trainer David Garza, David Blazek, Sam Stenger, Greg Reed and Cory Johnson. Team “B” was Ryan and Tara Williams, Joel Steele, Jacob Leggett, Bruce Moore, Christine Langner and Teddy Babcock. Team “C” was Cita and Phillip Geiggar, Liz and Wade Treichler, Jenna Lewis, Meagan Glasgow, Lakeisha Celestine and Stephen Cohorn.
“I can proudly say I completed my first 10K without passing out!” said Cita Geiggar. “I have never run more than four miles and achieving this was a big accomplishment for my husband and me. Knowing that we were there as a team/company participating made it fun and well worth the pain.”
Another HHS team member, Jonathan Thelin (a.k.a. Johnny Austin), got involved in the event not by running, but by providing much-needed motivation and entertainment for runners by playing with his band, The Staylyns. Thelin and his band were one of six musical groups stationed strategically along the 6.2 mile course to help keep runners pumped up.
“I’ve been performing with my band at the Cap 10K for the last few years, and 2012 was by far the most fun for me personally,” said Thelin. “The HHS runners made a real effort to yell or wave hello as they ran by and the energy that created was electric!”
Even though our team was lead by Garza, surprisingly Vince Bartges, Division Vice President for the Carolinas, stole the team’s first place spot with a finish time of 43 minutes and 7 seconds. His wife, Liz, also got first place out of the women on the HHS team with a time of 53 minutes and 27 seconds.
“It was great to see the positive effects of the emphasis HHS has placed on fitness,” said Bartges. “I heard several of our runners say they either set a personal record or had never completed a 10K run before. The results our team achieved over the weekend are a testament to the hard work of our trainer and the team of athletes he trains at the office every week.”
In the end, all 22 HHS team members not only completed, but excelled in the Cap 10K by finishing 10th out of 28 participating teams, with an overall time of 4 hours, 9 minutes, and 14 seconds between our top 5 runners.
“The effort and courage they showed me at the Cap 10K just blew me away,” said Garza. “I am honored to be their trainer!”