The 14th Annual CIGNA/Elliot Corporate 5K Road Race—A Celebration of Fitness, Health, and Corporate Pride
This is New England’s 5K, THE event for companies and individuals of all abilities. CIGNA HealthCare and Elliot Health System have combined to bring this classic to a new level.
Posted Monday, 12 June, 2006
This will be the 14th running of the race that has become a New England classic. As you can see, the name of the race has changed. CIGNA HealthCare and Elliot Health System have combined their considerable talents and resources to bring a new level of dedication to fitness and health for the running and corporate communities.
Yes, it has become a classic. It is one of the largest races in New England, and one of the largest individually timed corporate road races in the USA. And all companies and individuals in New England can be a part of it. Enter this on all calendars: Thursday evening, August 10th, beginning at 6:20 p.m., Manchester, New Hampshire.
This is an opportunity for companies and individuals to excel in a fast, exceptionally well-managed 5K race. It has become a major sporting event in the Granite State. Companies and agencies, small and large, will have the opportunity to show their colors and logo--those with a few employees, and those with thousands.
Veterans Park on Elm Street in Manchester will be Race Central. Registration, post race refreshments, and awards will be at the park, which is only a few blocks from the start and immediately adjacent to the finish on Merrimack Street. The course will be entirely closed to traffic.
The CIGNA/Elliot Corporate 5K will blast off under the television cameras of New Hampshire’s WMUR-TV at 6:20 p.m. for the fourteenth year. At least 6,000 participants will experience the wide-open start on Elm Street, flying off in three waves. Championchip timing by Granite State Race Services will provide every participant with her net time and official time.
It is refreshing to see CIGNA HealthCare and Elliot Health System put their slogans into meaningful practice, and indeed they have. Elliot Health System’s “Live Better” and CIGNA’s “A business of Caring” are symbolic of their meaningful contributions to the New England Corporate community in presenting this outstanding event. They are providing an opportunity for all companies to emphasize fitness and wellness.
Elliot, best known for Elliot Hospital in Manchester, is a provider of comprehensive healthcare and fitness programs and services. Elliot takes a proactive approach to wellness, offering community programs such as “The Right Weigh” weight management program, and “Dare to CARE”, a cardiovascular education and screening program.
CIGNA HealthCare is known for its commitment to healthy lifestyles through the many programs it offers its members to encourage healthier lifestyles and improve their health.
This race is a showcase for companies ready to commit to employee health and well being. It is an opportunity for companies to introduce a beneficial long-term fitness and wellness program—a cornerstone. The race is a celebration of running and fitness, and a unique company outing. It’s an emphatic statement to employees and the community at large.
At the CIGNA/Elliot Corporate 5K employees can spend a fun, morale building evening in pursuit of fitness. Participants—especially first timers--inevitably want to set goals and take fun and fitness to the next level. And that is why this event was founded by CIGNA in 1993—to promote wellness and fitness in the broader community.
This year’s race beneficiary is Easter Seals, which is dedicated to providing services to ensure that all people with disabilities or special needs, and their families, have an equal opportunity to live, learn, work, and play in their communities. Those who run so freely and enjoyably will appreciate this effort to help those who are challenged and less mobile.
A Race for All
This event is open and available to all: The fastest, fittest runners, middle of the pack runners, wheelchair athletes, and walkers of every capability. This is an opportunity for all participants—serious runners to casual walkers—to participate on the same course at the same time as some of the best in the world.
Individuals are encouraged to participate, and are eligible for age group prizes, as are members of corporate teams. Unattached individual runners are a big part of the party, led by world-class international elite women and men, along with regional stars. What a deal! It’s $15 through August 1st, and $18 per person thereafter, including race day. Those signing up for company teams can save a few dollars (most companies pay anyway); it is only $12, and that includes shirts and finishers’ awards.
CIGNA HealthCare is now the primary sponsor of the famous Falmouth Road Race (the 34th annual, running Sunday, August 13th). Many of the world’s best runners will use the CIGNA/Elliot Corporate 5K as a tune-up for Falmouth. New England talent will compete with some of the very best.
This is New England’s 5K, and your company should be part of it. It is THE race, and has something for everyone—beginners to elite stars. The CIGNA/Elliot Corporate 5K is the ideal event for beginners, creating terrific memories of their first race. Companies and athletes will show their colors in Southern New Hampshire.
Corporate teams, as well as individuals, can now register online with Active.com, or they can print out an application from the Website and mail it. Number, chip, and T-shirt pickup will be available from noon to 6:00 p.m. on race day at Veterans Park. Or corporate team captains can pick up packets from 12:00PM to 6:00 p.m. Wednesday evening, August 9, at Logo Loc, 540 Commercial Street, Manchester.
Registration will also be available for individuals the evening of the race in Veterans Park. However you sign up—the sooner the better--you should definitely run this one. What a community resource! Individual registration is $15 through August 1st and $18 thereafter. Team entries are $12 per person (by July 28th).
For questions you can call the race hotline at (800) 554-1664.
The Course—Excellent, Well Managed, Traffic Free
The course is ideal; it’s mostly flat with only three turns. And records prove it. It is a very fast counter-clockwise loop through historic downtown Manchester, and is USATF certified.
The starting line is very wide on Elm Street. Net time will begin at the starting line mat. After a three-wave start the field will sprint north on Elm to the first turn on Thayer Street. After 1/10 mile on Thayer, the second turn takes runners south on River Road and Canal Street, a slightly downhill section. And the last turn off Canal Street to Merrimack Street is just prior to the three-mile mark.
From three miles runners will power slightly uphill to the finish on Merrimack Street, immediately adjacent to the post race festivities in Veterans Park.
Plenty of after-race refreshments and music will add to the fun at the park.
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. Every person will be posted on Cool Running for the world to see, and will be posted on the race Website.
Company team building—it is priceless.
Companies participating in this event can register an unlimited number of team members, competitive and non-competitive. Only five individuals are needed to score. Women’s, men’s, and Coed teams will be automatically scored using the five best age graded times. Coed team members must be designated, and the first two men and first two women designated will score, plus the next fastest individual. (Those designated on Coed teams will not score on women’s or men’s teams.)
Everyone will see your company. Race organizers will print your logo on the back of shirts for the entire team just for entering (if registration is completed by July 18). Those registering with company teams get a price break compared to individuals. Members must be 18 or older, and an employee from June 1, 2006.
Southern New Hampshire University won the women’s title in 2005, followed by BAE Systems and Elliot Health System. Raytheon won the men’s title, with Sonus Networks the runner-up, and BAE Systems third. WPI Faculty was coed team winner, with BAE Systems and Cell Signaling Technology second and third. Winning the Corporate Cup (most participants) was Mehan Orthodontics (small), Triangle Credit Union (medium), and BAE Systems (large).
Companies participating in this event can definitely undergo a transformation. They can use the powerful energy of running and fitness to improve corporate culture, employee morale, employee loyalty, employee health/fitness, and attendance. Companies who support fitness programs—especially running—are definitely healthier and more productive. This event can be more powerful than training seminars, and more effective.
Corporate banners will be everywhere in Veteran’s Park during registration and post race festivities. There will be many post-race parties, including the "official" post-race celebration at Jillian's. Take advantage of this tremendous community resource, and show your colors. Enjoy the race and party.
Cash Awards, Course Records, and Bonuses
The overall women’s and men’s winners will receive a $600 check, with $500 for second, $400 for third, $300 fourth, and $200 fifth. Another incentive is offered--$250 to any woman who zips in under 17:20 or man who breaks 14:50. The first woman and man from New Hampshire will receive $100.
And there will be bonuses. A winning course record will net $1,000. A record breaking non-winning performance will garner $500. Kenyan distance star Joseph Mwai set the men’s record and made history in 2003 as he blasted through the 11th annual CIGNA 5K in 13:54.73. It was a course record and an all-time New Hampshire record—the first under 14 minutes.
Marie Davenport of Guilford, Connecticut set a new standard in 2004, blasting to 15:38.37. She broke the mark of Kenyon star Emily Samoei (15:48.18), set a year earlier. Davenport ran the second fastest women’s 5K ever recorded in New Hampshire. Olympic Bronze Medallist Lynn Jennings sped to 15:28 at Bud Light Couples in Concord, 1993.
Last year Alene Reta won the men’s race (14:22), and Alemtsehay Misganan was the women’s champion (16:15). Both reside in New York City. Casey Moulton of Pelham (15:08, fourth overall) and Mary Proulx of Keene (17:21, fifth woman overall) were the New Hampshire winners.
Please note: Record performances--course, national, and state--will be based on official race (gun) time, as will all cash awards. All other individual and team awards will be based on Championchip net time.
Age Group, Team, and Wheelchair Awards
There are 30 age group divisions, and awards will go three deep for medals. Age groups are set in five-year increments, with divisions for under 15, 15-19, then every five years through 80+. The overall split between men and women the last two years has been nearly even. Women outnumber men in the 35 and under groups, and men have the majority over age 35.
The top age graded master woman and man will earn free flights anywhere in the country courtesy of Southwest Airlines. In 2005 Russian star Tatyana Pozdnyakova, a previous winner of this race who trains in Gainesville, Florida, won the women’s age graded masters (16:39). She was second overall and the first master woman even before age grading. She was first among all seniors (50 and over), men and women. Mike O’Brien of Durham, New Hampshire was the men’s age graded master champ (and seventh overall) in 15:32.
The first overall woman and man in the wheelchair divisions will receive awards.
There are three divisions for team awards: Coed, female, and male—all age graded—and the top three will win awards. And there are divisions based on company size for the Corporate Cup Awards--prizes awarded for numbers of participants and for highest percentage of company participation. Corporate Cup awards are based on small (5-15), medium (16-99), and large (100+ employees). Awards are given to the top three in each category.
Every finisher will receive a commemorative prize, a CIGNA/Elliot Corporate 5K tradition.
Easy to Get There
Manchester is surrounded by two Interstate highways, and served by a terrific regional airport. There is ample parking in the downtown (see the Website), 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).
Be a Part of This Outstanding Event
The CIGNA/Elliot Corporate 5K Road Race is really for everyone—all individuals, all companies. It is one of the largest timed road races in New England, and one of the best. It is one of the fastest 5K’s anywhere. In a region known for great races and racing traditions, this event has so much to offer. For some it will be the beginning of a healthier lifestyle. It will provide many with their first-ever racing experience. For others, it will offer a chance at a personal record for 5K. For still others, it will simply be the thrill of competing in a world-class event.
This is a race for community fitness, a celebration. The CIGNA/Elliot Corporate 5K is a tremendous morale booster, an evening out for employees of all companies, and a superior race for individuals. Every company in New England can take part, whether their team has experienced runners or first-time walkers (it’s usually a combination). It is a commitment to employees’ overall wellness. Just be there--Thursday, August 10, Manchester, New Hampshire. This will be the 14th running of a classic. What a terrific tradition!