Saturday, April 27, 2019 was probably the most perfect morning for a run that Nashville has seen over the past 8 years since the Microsoft Nashville team began participating in the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital’s Annual Marathon/Half Marathon/5k event. While just a bit over half of our overall team was able to make it to the Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge for our team photo due to huge crowds in Nashville for the NFL Draft – it was an outstanding morning for all participants.
Our team of Microsoft Employees and families joined over 30,000 other runners taking part in the event. This was the culmination of 16+ weeks of training to take on the very hilly courses in Nashville. This was by far the best weather day for this event that we have ever had.
Our group included participants in every event offered (Full Marathon/Half Marathon/5k). This year, we had two couples that ran the half marathon together (crossing the finish line together)-Haylee and Hunter as well as Emily and Mike. Running a half marathon by yourself is difficult, running a half marathon with your significant other is very challenging-Congratulations to both of these couples!
We have learned many lessons each year throughout this journey- especially the importance of bringing together employees and their families to work towards a common goal outside of work. We have seen the excitement in the children’s eyes and the smiles on the spouses faces as a result of them knowing that they are a part of our team and have now been included in a “new challenge” bringing the family together. This is so important, especially in this new social world as families are challenged to stay connected as technology and social become more and more integrated into our daily lives.
We have also found that team building can truly bring huge benefits not only to an individual and their family but also to an organization:
- Camaraderie can only have a positive influence.
- Including family members and friends within your team will help to drive stronger work/life balance and also build a strong support system within your community.
- A team working towards a common goal, outside of the work place, will find it easier to work towards a common goal within the workplace.
- A team becomes a team not when they are challenged, but when they are challenged together.
- A healthy individual is a happier individual, they are better able to do their job. A healthy team is a happier team, they are better equipped for the challenges presented.
- The principles of a marathon, mirror the principles of a workplace. Focus, planning, determination, training, growth and challenge, are essential to both.
- That we are not afraid to fall, but have the ability to help each other get back up!
The Race: Nashville marathon speaks for itself with some of the most challenging hills presented throughout the course! It was a beautiful morning with temperatures at starting time in the 60’s – perfect running weather. As always, this race always proves to be like “one big block party” with bands uniformly spread out throughout the course, strong spectator support along the route and neighborhood block parties offering great carb loading treats!
The course took us through the best parts of Nashville (Broadway, Music Row, First Tennessee Field, etc.).
Expo: The expo was superb this year with lots of vendors and LOTS of Free Goodies!
Congratulations to all the runners in accomplishing your goals during this weekend. Most importantly, thanks for engaging your families and coming out to support St. Jude’s Research Hospital!
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