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home > races/results > usa: new hampshire > 12th annual cigna healthcare corporate 5k road race - one of new england’s biggest and best

12TH Annual CIGNA HealthCare Corporate 5K Road Race - One of New England’s Biggest and Best
This is New England’s 5K. It is THE race, and has something for everyone—beginners to elite racers. Companies and stars will show their colors in Southern New Hampshire.

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By Skip Cleaver
Posted Monday, 19 July, 2004

The CIGNA HealthCare 5K Corporate Road Race is the third largest timed road race in New England, and one of its best. In a region known for great races and racing traditions, this race has so much to offer—for individuals and companies alike. It provides a terrific opportunity for corporate team-building and morale boosting, provides many with their first-ever racing experience, and offers individuals—including world-class elite stars—one of the fastest 5K’s anywhere. It has only three turns, and is mostly flat.

John Mortimer won in 1997

It will blast off under the television cameras of New Hampshire’s WMUR-TV at 6:20 p.m. on Thursday, August 12, for year number 12. At least 6,000 participants will experience the wide-open start on Elm Street in Manchester, New Hampshire, flying off in three waves. Championchip timing by Granite State Race Services will provide every participant with their net time and complete time.

What a tremendous resource, this race, for running athletes and for companies, small and large. And, yes, it is a race for everyone. It’s for experienced individual runners, including elite athletes; and it’s for companies, those with a few employees, and those with thousands. And it is for wheelchair athletes, beginning runners, and for walkers. Proceeds will benefit the Special Olympics New Hampshire.

In last year’s race there were athletes from nine states and a variety of countries among the top 25 women, and an equal number of states and countries represented in the first 25 of the men’s field. The first 10 women were under 17:50, and the top 10 men zipped in at 14:47 and under.

Louise Rossetti at the 2003 race

The winners both blasted to course records, with Emily Samoei capping a great run with 15:48.2, and Joseph Mwai jetting to 13:54.8. Both earned $1,600 including the first place prize and course record bonus. There will be $4,200 in cash awards guaranteed again this year, plus course record bonuses, and bonuses for times under 17:20 and 14:50 respectively.

This race is a celebration! It is a celebration of running and fitness, and a celebration as a company outing. And it all comes to you for an incredibly low fee that you rarely see in road racing anymore.


The course is about as good as it gets. The field will stream north on Elm Street to Thayer, the first turn, after 1/10 mile the second turn has runners headed south on River Road and Canal Street, and after the third turn runners power to the finish on Merrimack Street. Everyone’s time will be automatically recorded using the ChampionChip System. Each runner will wear a coded computer “chip” and have their precise time registered for the company, and for posterity. Everyone gets a special, useful finishers’ award.


After race festivities

Company team building--what is that worth? Companies participating in this event can register an unlimited number of team members, competitive and non-competitive. And everyone will know your company. Race organizers will print your company logo on the back of every shirt for the entire team, just for entering. And those registering with company teams get a price break. It is only $12.00 for each team member (also a great bargain for individuals at $14.00, pre registration, $17 after August 3rd).

There will be corporate banners everywhere in Veteran’s Park where registration and post race festivities will be held. Cool 96.5FM Radio will be reporting live. And there will be more than a few post-race parties; including the “official” post-race celebration at Jillian’s.

Plenty to drink and eat

Companies that participate in the CIGNA HealthCare Corporate Road Race can definitely undergo a transformation. They can use the powerful energy of running and fitness to change and improve corporate culture, employee morale, employee loyalty, employee health/fitness, and attendance. Companies who are supportive of fitness programs—especially running—are definitely healthier and more productive. Business leaders are seeing benefits for their companies collectively, and for their employees individually. Fitness is critical in so many ways. A fixed target such as this race can spur programs for the entire year.

Loyalty and company pride take on new meaning when employees participate as a group. The bond is unbelievably powerful and invaluable. Managers at all levels and team captains should seize the moment and use this corporate race as a cornerstone. Fitness should be, must be year-round. This event can be more powerful than training seminars, and more effective than expensive team-building programs. Companies should allow employees to run on a regular basis—especially during work hours--and should encourage them to do so. The time allowed for fitness is returned three-fold on average, which is quite a good investment.

Bring your group


There is a lot of money at stake, as winners receive $600 each, and the top five take home $500, $400, $300, and $200 respectively. A $1,000 bonus will be paid for a new course record. Non-winning record breaking times earn $500. Any woman who races inside of 17:20, or any man bettering 14:50 will receive $250. The top female and male age-graded masters winners will be awarded two round trip tickets on Southwest Airlines.

There will be three divisions for team awards: Coed, female, and male—all age graded. And there will be further divisions based on company size. There will also be prizes awarded for numbers of participants and for highest percentage of company participation. Individual age group awards will be given in 30 separate (5 year) divisions. The first New Hampshire woman and man across the finish line will each earn $100. Plenty of after-race treats and eats will be available courtesy of Shaw’s Supermarkets and Stonyfield Farms yogurt.


Manchester is surrounded by two Interstate highways, and served by a terrific regional airport. There is ample parking in the downtown, even for such a large field. All pre and post-race activities will take place in Veterans Park on Elm Street in Manchester, which is adjacent to the finish line and two blocks from the start. Veterans Park is opposite the Center of New Hampshire, one block north of the Elm Street/Granite Street intersection (Granite Street Exit, Route I293).

Individual registration can be done easily on line, or you can print out an application and mail it. Registration will also be possible the evening of the race in Veterans Park. However you do it, you should definitely be a part of this one. What a community resource, what a deal.



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