Entries are still flooding in for the Clarion Leeds 10K Corporate Challenge with almost 850 people now getting ready for the biggest business battle in the region.
The event, now in its 9th year, is part of the Asda Foundation Leeds 10K, and is a ‘challenge within a challenge’ where corporate teams vie for the title of fastest firm in the city.
Among those signed up in 2015 are Northern Rail, Ultimate Finance, Epiphany, Armstrong Watson, Savills Leeds and Chadwick Lawrence Solicitors.
All will be laying down the gauntlet on race day Sunday 12th July – as well as at a pre-event fun social evening and quiz night.
Here’s what our teams have to say about the event – and why they signed up.
Stacey Heywood, HR Contact Centre Manager for Northern Rail Ltd, said: “The Northern Rail HR team decided to enter the Leeds 10k to increase engagement and also build relationships in a newly formed team. A lot of our runners have never run a 10K before and were very nervous about applying however a few weeks in and we have people that are now able to run up to 10k on their training session with ease.
“We have also started up a weekly run club in Leeds city centre to encourage everyone to train together and I also send out weekly prompts with some tips and advice on how to motivate yourself for your run. A good tool we have found is the couch to 5K app which has helped some of the team focus on their goal and also provide encouragement throughout their runs.
“Overall, we have seen team morale increase and a good team spirit leading up to the run and feel that this is a great event to get everyone of all ages and abilities involved.”
Epiphany CEO Rob Shaw said: "We are absolutely delighted to be supporting Jane Tomlinson's Run for All for the sixth consecutive year.
"The Jane Tomlinson Appeal is a great charity doing astounding things, and its ethos fits with our brand. For us, the Clarion Leeds 10K Corporate Challenge brings together local organisations like Epiphany who support, raise money and enjoy a great team day out for a worthy cause.
"There are also a lot of sporting enthusiasts here at Epiphany, so I'm sure everyone will be on form to claim those bragging rights!"
Group Sales Director of Ultimate Finance, Nick Smith, and his colleagues in Leeds have entered a team for the first time.
“I was going to say that Ultimate Finance is delighted to be taking part in the Clarion Leeds 10k Corporate Challenge but I think the ‘delight’ for all of us will come when we finish the race. However, we are extremely proud to be supporting Jane Tomlinson’s Run for All which has motivated five rather out of condition members of the team to get on their running gear, pound the streets and get fit for a fabulous cause.
“There is talk on the Clarion website of it giving us the chance to beat our personal best. For most of us finishing the race will be our personal best!
“Taking part is a great way to herald the opening of the Leeds office at the beginning of the year and whatever time we set this year will give us a target to smash next year. The plan is to recruit the Brownlee brothers before then!
“Here’s wishing the best of luck to all the teams. We’ll be behind you all the way!”
Neil Wilson, Managing Partner of Chadwick Lawrence Solicitors, said: “Chadwick Lawrence Solicitors signed up to the Leeds 10k because it is a great cause and also because it gives Chadwick Lawrence the opportunity to bring our team together and team build at the same time as having fun and raising money for the cause. We have introduced an element of internal competition too between entrants from our six offices. It is great for us to have representation in such a huge event and really helps with the profile of Chadwick Lawrence Solicitors in Leeds. We are taking the opportunity on the day to involve more colleagues than just entrants by having a BBQ and drinks for colleagues and their families at our offices after the race has taken place. Good luck to all other entrants.”
Tim Parish, of ROCOL said: "Although ROCOL have a large global footprint we are a Leeds based business and have many customers in the Yorkshire region. Some of which we will be lined on the start line for the Leeds 10k next to us in the corporate challenge. We feel it’s very important to support and get involved with local businesses and charities alike. That’s why our team of 7 are running in support of Martin House Hospice, a Yorkshire charity that we have supported in previous fund raising events. Martin House is a fantastic charity that provide care and support free of charge to children and young people with a life-limiting illness and their families."
Andy Wood, practice leader at Grant Thornton’s Leeds office, said: “The Leeds 10K is always a great event, bringing together individuals and businesses throughout Yorkshire to raise funds for a variety of charities. As a keen runner myself, I’m taking on a number of challenges this year and wanted to inspire my colleagues to don their trainers too. As ever, there will be some friendly rivalry between the corporate teams so we will be training hard ahead of 12 July.”
Paul Fairhurst, head of Savills Leeds, said: “The Jane Tomlinson Appeal is a great local charity which Savills are pleased to be supporting through their entry into Clarion’s 10K Corporate Challenge. Our team of runners are training hard and we wish them and everyone else taking part the very best of luck.”
Over the last few years Leeds based marketing agency Banana Kick has entered a team into the Leeds 10k Clarion Corporate challenge in order to pit their wits against other businesses in the area.
Gary McCall, Director, said: “This provides a fantastic opportunity for many of our staff to satisfy their competitive personalities (we do all love sport after all!) and also complete personal goals as well.
“As creative partners of Run For All and the Jane Tomlinson Appeal, we have always entered a team into the Clarion Corporate Challenge.
“We are always inundated with requests for places from those who have previously participated and who want to run the event again together with new members of the team. All find the day motivating and inspiring and the run also creates a real camaraderie both in the lead up to the race and on the day itself.
“As a Leeds based business, we are delighted to participate in this great showcase for the city. An event that is extremely well managed, raises great sums of money for numerous worthy charities and at the same time provides great fun for those who participate.”
Mike Pullon, of Varlink, said: “I am a long-time admirer of Jane Tomlinson, of what she achieved and now of her legacy. I’ve been delighted to support Run for All by running three of the York 10K races and both of the Yorkshire marathons. When a letter about the Clarion Challenge hit my desk I sent an email out to see if 4 colleagues wanted to join me in a team.
“I was really pleased when 6 people from our sales & marketing teams said yes. We have a mixture of regular runners, those who have been working on their fitness and the others who will be using the event as a target to get fitter.
“The team has decided to take this opportunity to raise some money for a charity, and due to events that have touched a number of us, selected Macmillan Cancer Support.
“The team has been promised lots of support by colleagues not participating in the run by way of helping raise funds from suppliers, customers and others and by travelling from York on the day to cheer us on.”
This will be the 8th consecutive year that Armstrong Watson has entered a team in the Corporate Challenge. A spokesperson said: “This is a fantastic event and we are proud to be once again taking part. The finish line is also a few strides away from our new Leeds office on South Parade.
“Over the years members of the Leeds team have taken part for several reason, including personal challenges to get fit. In the process we have raise lots of money for worthy causes.
“This year there will be once again inter-office rivalry at Armstrong Watson as the Leeds office team will go head-to-head with a team from our Northallerton office. This will give an added spice to what is already a wonderful corporate event. This year Armstrong Watson will have its largest number of runners taking part in the Corporate Challenge.”
Arena Group’s Managing Director, Adrian Fitzpatrick, said: “Arena has been a long-time supporter of Mike Tomlinson and the Jane Tomlinson Appeal, sponsoring the Mini and Junior events since their launch in 2010. The 10K is a great complement to this activity and is very popular with Arena employees.”
Entry to the Corporate Challenge is open to teams of at least five. To find out more about the Clarion Leeds 10K Corporate Challenge and to sign up, click here.