IBJOpinion

MAURER: If you’re 70, Corporate Challenge is a breeze

Mickey Maurer
November 9, 2013
Keywords
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Mickey Maurer“Mickey, all you have to do is show up.” That was captain AJ Hillebrand’s recruiting pitch to run for The National Bank of Indianapolis team in the Indiana Sports Corp.’s Corporate Challenge race.

AJ was well informed. In my age group, 70 and older, hardly anyone is still employed, let alone able to complete a 5K (3.1 miles). I can still walk and talk—and work—at this age, so I agreed to participate. My next-door neighbor, Celadon Group Chairman Steve Russell, also over 70, accepted a similar challenge from his team captain. I offered to pick him up.

We arrived at Carroll Stadium on the IUPUI campus at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 28 to warm up for the 8 a.m. start. It was exhilarating to strut around the complex in running shorts and mix with healthy athletes of all ages. I did not feel like an old man—until the race began. I was passed by waves and waves of runners as I struggled to maintain a pace that would allow me to finish without shuffling down the homestretch with my head down, looking like I dropped my car keys. I began to feel silly about our team T-shirt that read on the back, “Bye, Bye, see you at the finish line.” Who would be left back there to read that message?

The competition is divided according to number of employees. The bank was in the second of four divisions and thus not measured against biggies Celadon, Eli Lilly and the like. Most financial institutions were in our division. I finished 846th out of 903 runners in all divisions. But AJ was right: I bested the one other guy my age in our division and earned 100 first-place points toward the team total.

I reprised that performance in the half mile: another mediocre finish, and another first. I was the highest scorer for the bank team—a real jock. The bank came in third in our division and first among financial institutions regardless of employee census.

Everyone had a chance to play. There was a 5K fitness walk that allowed each finisher to score one point for the team regardless of finish time. In addition, participants chose from an array of events that included tug-of-war, basketball shootout, football accuracy throw, Frisbee toss (sponsored by Indianapolis Business Journal), golf chipping, obstacle course relay, parallel parking and soccer shootout. Earlier in the week, competitions were held in bicycling, bowling and volleyball. Also included was a philanthropic competition where companies received points based on how much they donated to designated local charities.

And what became of Steve Russell? In spite of backache challenges this year that inhibited his ability to properly train, he took his place at the start line and began a pace that was difficult for him to sustain. A real gamer, he finished the race practically carried across the finish line by three female participants. After this near collapse, he was strapped to a gurney and transported to an ambulance. The preliminary diagnosis was blood pressure problems. I never learned whether the blood pressure was a result of running the race or the close physical contact with three younger women at the finish.

I offered to take Steve home, but the med techs would not release him. He was taken to Methodist Hospital for observation and set free in time to enjoy lunch with his wife, Livia—a full recovery. He did not even curtail his evening activities. Steve also earned 100 first-place points in his division; he was the only entrant in the septuagenarian category.

The Corporate Challenge, sponsored by Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield and co-chaired by Tag Birge and Lisa Purichia, was billed as a fun-filled community event that emphasizes healthy lifestyles, friendly competition and company camaraderie. It was all of that. Steve Russell and I will be there next year. Won’t you?•

__________

Maurer is a shareholder in IBJ Corp., which owns Indianapolis Business Journal.  His column appears every other week. To comment on this column, send e-mail to mmaurer@ibj.com.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Congrats Steve and Mickey, 70 years young
    Well done guys, an inspiration to us all...I am still running 30 to 40 miles a week at 59 (at a leisurely pace I might add), and I hope to still be lining up for races at your age. let us know if you ever figure out what caused the spike in Steve's BP...I am guessing it was the assistance rendered rather than the effort...
  • Good for you
    Congratulations on the race from a fellow over 70, still working, still running member of the community. Mike Uber and I co-chaired the first several Corporate Challenges long ago and I'm glad it has survived.

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. I never thought I'd see the day when a Republican Mayor would lead the charge in attempting to raise every tax we have to pay. Now it's income taxes and property taxes that Ballard wants to increase. And to pay for a pre-K program? Many studies have shown that pre-K offer no long-term educational benefits whatsoever. And Ballard is pitching it as a way of fighting crime? Who is he kidding? It's about government provided day care. It's a shame that we elected a Republican who has turned out to be a huge big spending, big taxing, big borrowing liberal Democrat.

  2. Why do we blame the unions? They did not create the 11 different school districts that are the root of the problem.

  3. I was just watching an AOW race from cleveland in 1997...in addition to the 65K for the race, there were more people in boats watching that race from the lake than were IndyCar fans watching the 2014 IndyCar season finale in the Fontana grandstands. Just sayin...That's some resurgence modern IndyCar has going. Almost profitable, nobody in the grandstands and TV ratings dropping 61% at some tracks in the series. Business model..."CRAZY" as said by a NASCAR track general manager. Yup, this thing is purring like a cat! Sponsors...send them your cash, pronto!!! LOL, not a chance.

  4. I'm sure Indiana is paradise for the wealthy and affluent, but what about the rest of us? Over the last 40 years, conservatives and the business elite have run this country (and state)into the ground. The pendulum will swing back as more moderate voters get tired of Reaganomics and regressive social policies. Add to that the wave of minority voters coming up in the next 10 to 15 years and things will get better. unfortunately we have to suffer through 10 more years of gerrymandered districts and dispropionate representation.

  5. Funny thing....rich people telling poor people how bad the other rich people are wanting to cut benefits/school etc and that they should vote for those rich people that just did it. Just saying..............

ADVERTISEMENT