Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Centre of attention


Centre of attention
Confederation Centre of the Arts, official venue for the P.E.I. Marathon,
is registering four teams in the corporate relay

The Guardian

Staff at the Confederation Centre of the Arts certainly has plenty of energy to go around.
No sooner did news come out the Charlottetown Festival had one of its best years ever in ticket sales that the announcement comes Wednesday staff are gearing up for the P.E.I. Marathon.
The centre is registering four teams, a total of 32 employees, in the corporate relay on Oct. 14 — a corporate record for the marathon.
“Nobody said we’re intelligent over here. We sell a few tickets and then go out and run 36 kilometres,” said CEO David MacKenzie, poking some fun at what has become a busy schedule for his staff this year.
Myrtle Jenkins-Smith, the driving force behind the P.E.I. Marathon, said the corporate relay has seen massive growth.
In an effort to broaden the interest in the marathon as a weekend festival last year, Jenkins-Smith went about organizing a corporate relay and ended up with seven teams. Her goal this year was to come up with 15 teams.
As of Wednesday, there are 32 teams and 256 participants entered.
“It’s terrific we have the business community involved,” she said. “Ninety-nine per cent of these people would never even think of doing a marathon.”
Now, teams in the corporate relay don’t have to run 36 kilometres. Each of the eight legs will vary in lengths from 2.7 kilometres up to 10 kilometres and involves walking or running.
MacKenzie said he isn’t surprised at the fact staff at the Confederation Centre are supporting the event in such big numbers — even if he had originally hoped to put a team, maybe two in the corporate relay.
“The centre has always been sort of the host of the event and we really are strong supporters because it’s been so important for fall tourism and it has shown a lot of growth,” he said.
Jenkins-Smith said the corporate relay is a great way to get more Islanders involved, get them out of the office and into a team-building fun activity and get the blood flowing with exercise.
An added bonus would be that some of the corporate relay participants might give some thought into registering for the full marathon next year.
MacKenzie said the centre may provide its entries with a champagne breakfast prior to the relay.
“We’re going to have a little sort of in-office rivalry, of course, between the four teams but we’re going to have fun with it. The beauty of the corporate relay is it’s as competitive as you want it to be.”
The centre is the official venue for the marathon weekend — registration, training sessions, pasta party, wrap-up party and finish line.
MacKenzie said he hopes people get the message that there is something for everyone in the marathon weekend and that it doesn’t just apply to people able to run 42 kilometres.
“It doesn’t matter where you work or who you are, exercise is important and team-building as an organization is really important. We just think this is a great way to get both of those covered. Maybe next year we’ll have five teams in it.”

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