Health and Wellness

Starting a Workplace Running Club or Team – 3 Tips

Recently Everyday EMS Athlete Mark Bandy was profiled. Mark’s service, Mid Georgia Ambulance, has a running team called Run for Your Life. I asked the team coordinator, Amy Abel-Kiker, who is also the MGA Director of Public Relations for her tips for starting a workplace fitness or running team. Amy shared these great tips.

Facebook for Promoting Events

I upload all of our running photos and race updates to the MGA facebook page. I also link the MGA facebook page directly to the pages of local road races, so that our followers can become followers of the race as well. This allows for race information to be more readily accessible to those on our facebook page.

In addition to utilizing the MGA page, I created a separate facebook group for the running team. I use this group to upload info about each race, add new members, and remind employees (and members of the community) about race registration deadlines, etc.

Employee Reimbursement for Race Registration

Each month, we choose one 5K (or 5K/10K/Half Marathon) to be an “approved race”. We then collect registrations from employees and mail them into the race as a team. MGA employees who register for and run/walk a pre-approved race receive reimbursement for their original registration.

MGA Run for Your Life Team Member and Paramedic Andrew Woodward

Incentive Program

In our incentive programs, we try to recognize those who go above and beyond in their efforts to make positive life decisions. At a recent reception, we gave out several awards, a few of which included:

1. Personal Best Award-this was given to a runner who accomplished her personal best time in her first half-marathon, running as an MGA team member.

2. The Life Change Award-Given to an employee who has made a 180 degree life change to lose weight and get healthy. He basically went from couch to becoming an obstacle racer in a matter of months.

3.       The Finish Line Award-This award was given to a team member who shows up for every race possible. While she often chooses to walk the majority of the 5K, I have seen her sprint to the finish line. She is so determined and dedicated to her health!

Our goal is to recognize employees for not only making positive life changes, but for also encouraging other employees to do the same.

Recognition for our Efforts
MGA recently received our Fit Friendly Company Status (gold level), in recognition of our efforts to create a healthier workplace. We were recognized at a reception for the award and will now be eligible to renew this status each year.

All Everyday EMS Athletes featured in this column receive an e-gift card from Road ID. Check out the Road ID information for First Responders. View past columns and submit yourprofile at the Everyday EMS Athlete page

By Greg Friese

Greg Friese, Stevens Point, Wisconsin, is an author, educator, paramedic, and marathon runner.

Greg was the co-host of the award winning EMSEduCast podcast, the only podcast by and for EMS educators. Greg has written for,, Wilderness Medical Associates, JEMS Magazine, and EMS World Magazine, and the NAEMSE Educator Newsletter.