The Independent Weekly 2009 Corporate Challenge: Making Sure Your Company is Fit for Business

With 65 teams already committed, Acadiana’s premier wellness event enters the home stretch — but there’s still time to sign up.

Representatives from some of The 2009 Corporate Challenge teams gathered in River Ranch to talk strategy recently, including: Home Bank, Trim Kids, The Backpacker, Nutrition Innovators, Lafayette Alarm Services, Flex Med, Lynn Wood and Associates, Organically Yours, Acadian Ambulance, IberiaBank, Wells Fargo, Corporate Challenge, Onebane Law Firm, Lafayette Schools' FCU, Nouriche Wellness & Aesthetics and Schilling Distribution.

So you’ve seen the ads and posters, maybe even talked to some folks who ran the race last year or are part of this year’s training program. Maybe your company is fielding one of the 65 teams that have already signed up but your name is not yet on the roster. Perhaps you own a business and like the idea of doing something good for your employees’ health while helping to raise money for a good cause. But if you’re still thinking that the Corporate Challenge isn’t for you, that you’re not a runner, that it’s too late or you just don’t have the time, think again.

The Independent Weekly Corporate Challenge is a fun 5K run/walk event designed to encourage anyone who wants to make a change toward a more active lifestyle or to reinforce their personal commitment to fitness. It combines an exercise program with company team building, an office party and a 5k run/walk. There are, of course, the typical top performance awards for individuals, teams and categories of business; but for the less fleet of foot among us, there are lots of other opportunities to win all along the course, including the quick-dance contest, the gator-crawl, the kayak challenge and the AT&T cell phone toss (old phones will be recycled for a good cause). There are awards for racing in costume, as a husband and wife team or tied together as a five-person centipede. Post-race awards include the best CEO excuse, the best legs competition (there are, of course, male and female winners in this category) and The Backpacker 40-yard dash. But in this event, everyone is a winner: each participant can improve his or her personal health, help a local charity and take an afternoon off to be part of the festivities, all for a small $40 entry fee.

The entry fee covers a pre-race training program that includes a free trial membership to the City Club to encourage participants to make a real lifestyle change. Additionally, a portion of the proceeds goes to the Lafayette Community Health Care Clinic, a model organization providing health care to the working uninsured in our community.

The Corporate Challenge at River Ranch is a proven team builder. New this year is The Cool Company Award, where companies get a chance to convince the crowd why theirs is the coolest company in town. For more information, or to sign up now, go to or call 337.769.7609.

Michael Matthews, The Backpacker; Carla Gossen, Farmers-Merchants Bank; Tim Benson, Corporate Challenge; and Shelley Kilburn, Regent Broadcasting

This fitness festival takes place Friday, May 8, at Elysian Fields in River Ranch and is more than just another run/walk. It starts with a thousand people stretching together to some cool tunes during the Zyderobics warm-up session. In The Wellness Expo, participants can get wellness assessments on the spot, check out the newest in fitness equipment and nutrition info, including some tasty treats that are actually nutritious, or enjoy a free post-race massage. It is also Acadiana’s biggest outdoor office bash, where a company can pitch a team tent, enjoy food samplings and listen to Grammy nominee Roddie Romero & the Hub-City All Stars.

Tim Costello, Lafayette Alarm Services; Patty Guckeen, Organically Yours; Michael Matthews, The Backpacker; and Tag Doss, Team Flex Med

Chris Johnson and Faith Garbett of Team Acadian Ambulance and Gay Hopkins of Team Home Bank

At a Glance

The 2009

Independent Weekly

Corporate Challenge

When: Friday, May 8, 2-7:30 p.m. Race starts at 4:30 p.m.

Where: Elysian Fields @ River Ranch

What: 5K run/walk with fun special events, a giant outdoor office party and wellness expo

Music by: Grammy nominee Roddie Romero & the Hub-City All Stars

Fee: $40 per runner/walker, which includes all the perks. Register online (even a team of one) at . For more information, visit [email protected] or call 337-769-8609.

A portion of the proceeds will benefit The Lafayette Community Health Care Clinic.