Adventist Health Sponsors Teams in California International Marathon

To promote a healthy lifestyle and team spirit, Adventist Health recently sponsored the largest corporate participation at the 2011 California International Marathon (CIM). More than 135 employees from across the four-state, 18-hospital system made up 35 relay teams with several full-marathon runners for the Dec. 4, 2011, race. This marked the fifth year Adventist Health has participated in the race.

The CIM is a 26.2-mile race from Folsom, Calif., to the state capitol in Sacramento, Calif. Ranked as the 14th largest marathon in the country, the most recent CIM had 8,000 marathoners and 4,000 relay runners. The course is slightly downhill and is known as a great race to earn a Boston Marathon qualifying time.

Adventist Medical Center in Portland, Ore., had several participants in the race, as did several California hospitals: Adventist Medical Center Hanford, Glendale Adventist Medical Center, Howard Memorial Hospital, St. Helena Hospital Napa Valley and Sonora Regional Medical Center.

To get employees excited about running, the Roseville, Calif., based organization offered to pay employees' registration fees for the race. Adventist Health also provided bright yellow T-shirts with the company logo for runners to wear during the race to add to the team atmosphere. Adventist Health runners were known as "Team AHsome" and proudly wore the Adventist Health name on their shirts.

In addition to training regularly several months in advance for the race, participants encouraged each other and engaged in healthy competition for motivation. While some participants were seasoned runners, others had never done a distance race before.

George Bailey, an employee at the system headquarters, was a first-time runner this year with a remarkable story. Several years ago, Bailey decided to improve his health and lose weight. He has participated in CHIP (Complete Health Improvement Program), Adventist Health-sponsored health programs and daily walks. He wears a pedometer every day to keep track of his steps and spends lunch breaks walking. Since his decision to become healthier, Bailey has lost more than 100 pounds. He initially was nervous about signing up for the CIM and, after doing so, wanted to drop out. His teammates encouraged him to do the race, and, with their support, he was able to run his portion of the relay successfully.

By promoting health among its employees, Adventist Health is working to set a good example for its patients and the communities its hospitals and other facilities serve. For health and fitness tips, quizzes and other online tools, visit and click on the Health Library tab.

March 01, 2012 / Adventist Health