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Wheels & Heels: Team Decatur Wins Fittest City Trophy at Downtown Race

The group's 256 members helped bring home the prize in Thursday night's Kaiser Permanente Corproate Run/Walk in downtown Atlanta.

We may look middle-aged, but my husband and I helped our city win an athletic trophy Thursday night.

Dressed in neon-green t-shirts, we were part of Team Decatur and we walked, ran (but mostly walked) and helped our city win a ginormous trophy as the fittest city at the 5K Kaiser Permanente Corporate Run/Walk and Company Picnic Thursday night. Decatur has won the trophy two years in a row now. 

Take that, Roswell!

Team Decatur nearly doubled in size to 256 members from about 140 last year, when the group was formed by Decatur's Active Living department and the . Team members ranged in age from 10 to 81, according to Active Living Assistant Director Cheryl Burnette.

Runners and walkers -- and one participant in a wheelchair -- got a high-tech Brooks Dri-fit team running shirt in a bright green color that could be spotted from Mars, free access to an eight-week training program, goodie bags, oodles of corporate swag and the warm glow of accomplishment. Plus, a a portion of the race fee benefited the Atlanta Community Food Bank and the Atlanta Braves Foundation.

Corporate Atlanta was out in full force. Many corporations chartered buses to transport employees to the event, which started and finished at Turner Field with at 3.1-mile route through downtown Atlanta. More than 13,500 people representing 350 companies participated.

I love seeing all of the workers of the city dressed in shorts and T-shirts and asking strangers about their companies. DeKalb County's own Cotton States Insurance, for example, covers Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee.

But I don't like that as much as I like getting free stuff. , one of Team Decatur's big sponsors, handed out cards for a free week pass at their gym and ink pens that seemed to be partly made out of cardboard and wood, making them recyclable, I suppose.

The provided liquid refreshment in the form of a keg of a malted beverage and provided smoothies. Chevrolet was handing out soft-sided coolers and vinyl totes and another sponsor was giving out free massages (with an amazingly long line.)

Despite the race trappings, at least half of the participants walk the whole way. I even ran next to a fellow whose leg had been amputated below the knee, and he gladly told me about his special carbon-fiber prosthetic fitted with an athletic shoe. One Team Decatur member told me he was 78 and had a joint replacement at Emory, but was looking forward to walking the route.

In all, it was the city's largest and fittest office party (they claim it's the WORLD's largest office party) with a special Decatur twist. It was a glorious way to spend a Thursday night among Atlanta's corporate elite and Decatur's leading citizens.

Take a look at my husband's pictures accompanying this article. And join us next year!

Diane Loupe September 09, 2011 at 06:28 PM
Full list of sponsors: Eye Physicians and Surgeons, Decatur Business Association, KP Corporate Run/Walk & Fitness Program, Dynamp. DeKalb Medical was presenting sponsor. T-shirt sponsors: One Step at a Time, Joan Rau, Adams Realtors, Bubbling Creek Company, Nectar, UJoint, Oakhurst Market, CORE BODY, Decatur Bulldogs Booster Club, FleetFeet.

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