Friday, June 18, 2010

What it Takes to Organize a Company Team for the Peachtree 10K

I work at UPS, which has fielded a team of runners for the Peachtree Road Race for the past 10 years. We’re a big company and more than 1,000 employees and their family members sign up to run the race together.

I was curious to learn more about what’s involved. So, I spent some time chatting with my friend and colleague Phil Mittenzwei. Phil, along with Pat Kramb and Andra Ozolins, comprise the UPS Peachtree Road Race Committee.

Planning for the race kicks off in January where the committee talks through logistics. As part of UPS’s sponsorship, employees and family members are offered early registration for the race. Along with coordinating registration, the committee produces team T-shirts, organizes food, drinks and volunteers for the hospitality tent. One of the highlights is driving a UPS truck (known as a “package car” by UPSers) to Costco to pick-up hospitality supplies. The biggest task? That would be distributing team T-shirts to more than 1,000 employees. Phil orders extra shirts to sell at UPS as a United Way fundraiser.

This will be Phil’s 19th year running the Peachtree. It’s become an annual tradition that he enjoys celebrating with fellow Atlantans. Each year, Phil’s wife cheers from the same spot on 14th Street where he stops to give her a kiss.

While planning the UPS sponsorship and race team is a big undertaking, it’s an opportunity that Phil and the committee members eagerly anticipate each year. As a fellow UPSer, I say “Go Team!”

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Yeah, it's Hot. But There are Summer Races to Run in Atlanta

The temperature is raising but that’s no reason to skip out on lots of neighborhood races around town. Here are a few to check out:

Magnolia Run – June 12
In its 27th year, this race raises awareness and funds for the Epilepsy Foundation of Georgia. Conveniently located at the Perimeter Mall, the race includes 4-mile and 1-mile fun run. Registration is available online at or at Fleet Feet stores in Sandy Springs and Duluth.

Run4Dad 5K – June 19
During Father’s Day weekend why not run a race in honor of dads? This Sandy Springs event includes a 5K race and 1-mile walk. Proceeds benefit prostate cancer and local support groups of the Men’s Health & Wellness Center.

Beltline 5K – June 26
Help celebrate the opening of the Beltline trail in Southwest Atlanta. An added bonus – this is a free race. The run starts at Rose Circle Park and ends at Kipp Strive Academy. Registration is available at

Peachtree Road Race – July 4
Registration for the mother of all Atlanta races closed months ago. If you’re not running it, you can still join the celebration by cheering on the 55,000+ people racing. Hit Piedmont Park afterwards to party with the race participants.

AIDS Faith Walk + 5K Run – July 5
Didn’t register in time for the Peachtree? Here’s a local event in South Atlanta that aims to raise awareness, hope and funds for AIDS. Changing A Generation Full Gospel Baptist Church hosts the event. This is a race that’s sure to uplift your spirit. Register at the event site.

Clyde’s Run – July 17
People organize road races to support a variety of causes. Clyde’s Run honors the memory of Clyde Mays, who suffered from a rare genetic condition. The race takes place at Mountain Park, GA, located near Roswell. Proceeds benefit the Prader-Willi Syndrome Foundation. Registration information is available at the race site.