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Team PR Newswire Takes on the Cleveland Corporate Challenge

Dom and Ali pose with their competition

This past Tuesday, four valiant putt-putters from PR Newswire and their fearless coach (this guy!) took a drive to Mulligan’s Family Fun Center in North Ridgeville to battle it out with other Cleveland companies in the Cleveland Corporate Challenge.

We went with a neon-colored dream….to not place last in the Division II Britton Gallagher Mini-Golf tournament.

Laurel and Scott wait to play through a hole

Hosted by HermesCleveland, Cleveland Corporate Challenge is Northeast Ohio’s premier corporate program. Companies of every size compete in 14 different sporting events with the goal of being crowned Corporate Cup Champion.

The goal of the Challenge is not just to promote company camaraderie, employee wellness and networking, but also help local charities like this year’s official charity the Jennifer Ferchill Foundation.

Long shot

In the past I’ve really enjoyed Hermes Cleveland’s Road Race series (I even barely finished their Run for the Pierogies last Saturday despite the heat and humidity). And when I learned about their Corporate Challenge series, I knew that was something my office would really get into to.

Thanks to @mryjhnsn‘s incredible organizing skills and our director Glenn’s support, we joined the ranks of the 100+ companies participating in this year’s games.

Scott shows off his hole-in-one score

Since the tournament kickoff on June 24 we’ve been facing off against other Division II companies like CBIZ, KPMG and Henkel Adhesives in sports ranging from Skeeball to Sand Volleyball, Cornhole and Touch Football.

After reviewing the list of sports, I figured the only one I had any hope of doing ok in would be Mini-Golf (pin-ball and videogames are more my speed), so when they needed captain volunteers I signed up right away.

Team PRN: Dom, Ali, Laurel and Scott

I was one very fortunate captain because I had the talented team of Ali Candelaria, Laurel Pilch, Dom “2-putt” Buccilli and Scott to lead into the battle.

However, not wanting to underestimate the other teams’ golfing prowess, I gave my least-inspiring pep talk ever and told them “I don’t care even if you come in last place.” ”Even if you come in last, you’re still winners in my book.”

Scott deals with some of the course’s rough terrain

And how did we do?  As Ali put it: “The competition was fierce, the sand traps were sneaky and the roughs were…. well… rough.”  But the team persevered.

After the match, Team PRN sat there growing hungrier by the minute for our score – and dinner – as each stroke was counted and a few tie-breaker holes played.  Then they announced the rankings.   In third place, Electronic Merchant Systems. In second, The Blind Pig.

And in first …. PR Newswire!

WHAAATTT?!?

After Ali high-kicked her excitement, a moment of doubt set in and we thought that maybe they should recheck their math.  The officials did, only to confirm our victory with a final total of 185.

This Putt-Putt Captain couldn’t have been any happier, as demonstrated by this photo:

A nice souvenir from the evening

Our first place win in Mini-Golf puts us at #4 in our division. However, the Cleveland Corporate Challenge has just gotten started with plenty more sports left to play throughout the rest of July. The field for the overall tournament champion is still wide open.

The Cleveland Corporate Challenge culminates on August 4 with the Final Event Day featuring a 10K Relay, Tug of War, 1 Mile Fun Walk, and Vitamix Obstacle Course.

Moment of celebration right after being told we won

Registration is still open for independent teams who would like to play Sand Volleyball, Bowling, the 10K Relay and Obstacle Course (as an independent team you only have to compete in select events, not the overall tournament). However, those deadlines are approaching fast, so sign up now!

Has your company played in the Cleveland Corporate Challenge? If so, share your experience in the comments.

(And if you’re interested in playing, you can register here.)

Dom “2-putt” Buccilli

Clue Into Being Active in CLE

HermesCleveland.com offers way to get active in Cleveland

By no stretch of the imagination am I an athlete. If you’ve been following this blog even for a short while, you’ll know my huge loves are food and the arts. And although I enjoy watching sports, I don’t often participate in them.

A huge reason for this is that I’m just not that good at it.  Combined with the fact that I can be overly competitive, I tend to beat myself up when I don’t do well and end up not having a good time.

Despite this, though, I’ve recently started pushing myself to be more active. It started by joining Hungry in CLE‘s kickball team For Whom the Ball Rolls.  Part of the Hermes Sports and Social league, we meet every Tuesday at Tremont’s Clark Field to play kickball.  And it’s a lot of fun (even if I am too hard on myself)!

I haven’t played kickball since grade school and have quickly realized how little I remember of the game.  But I’m learning, and even if I still can’t figure out how to kick the ball so that it’s not a pop-up out, I’ll get there eventually.  In addition to Hungry in CLE, fellow bloggers @MildlyRelevant and Why CLE? are on the team.

Thanks to OH Blogging Association, I'm running my first 5K on July 9th

I can also thank blogging for introducing me to the other sports activity I’m undertaking this summer.

When Poise in Parma announced that July 9th’s Ohio Blogging Meet up would be The Run for the Pierogies, I initially planned on cheering everyone on and meeting up for brunch after the race. The last time I participated in any sort of running (and I use the term loosely) was over ten years ago.  And even then, I grudgingly walked it as part of the mandatory fitness tests in high school.

However, another one of the great things about the Ohio Blogging Association is being able to learn from other bloggers’ stories and take motivation from what has motivated them.

After these bloggers – Poise in Parma, Healthy Heddleston, WhyCLE, HungryinCLE, Finishing Firsts, A Slice of Kiwi, Mojamala2 – shared their experiences about running or getting fit (whether it was ten years or just a few months ago), I realized I could stop joking about my lack of athleticism and lace up my sneakers at the Run for the Pierogies.

And if nothing else, there is the promise of pierogies at the end of it.

Pierogies!

For once, though, I’m not setting a lofty goal.  I want to have fun while doing this and figure if I push myself too hard, I’m going to discourage myself from doing it at all.  So after clocking myself walking a 5K at a little over 50 minutes, I’m hoping to end up somewhere between 45 and 50 minutes.

Between getting winded quickly, the shin splints and hamstring strain, I’m taking it slow and confess it’ll be more of a “Speed Walk for the Pierogies” than anything else.  But it’s ok. I’m having fun and looking ahead to future 5Ks.

If you’re likewise trying to find small ways you can get more active in Cleveland, check out Hermes’ Cleveland Sports and Social activities. They offer leagues throughout the year, including volleyball, bowling, softball and skeeball.

You can also join me at the Run for the Pierogies in Parma on July 9th (a Hermes Road Racing event). There is a 1 mile and a 5k option.  Registration is $20 each and benefits the American Cancer Society Parma Area Relay for Life. The American Cancer Society is an organization that’s personally close to my heart, so I’m glad my first 5K is going to support it.

Since I’ve needed to kick myself into gear, I’ve found that Active.com and Cool Running’s Couch to 5K program are excellent resources for training.  Although I’ve had to modify some of Couch to 5K’s tips because I’m ridiculously out of shape and have a shorter time frame for my training, I’m planning to continue working on this after the 5K is over.

Have your own suggestions for how to get more active in Cleveland, including any 5Ks after July 9th you’d like to recommend?

Share them in the comments section below!

(Images from HermesCleveland.com, OHBlogging.com and Facebook.com/OHBlogging, respectively)