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Alpharetta mayor prepares for different kind of runoff
by James Swift
jswift@neighbornewspapers.com
August 20, 2014 01:26 PM | 1606 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
At the 18th annual Mayor’s Corporate Challenge 5K, set for Aug. 28 in Alpharetta, the phrase “running for office” will become a bit more literal.

Presented by LexisNexis and cohosted by the city of Alpharetta and the Rotary Club of Alpharetta, the event allows individual runners and four-or-more-person corporate teams to race alongside Mayor David Belle Isle and his Corporate Challenge partners.

“I’ve been participating before I ever held office,” Belle Isle said. “Last year, I think I was closer to 29 minutes, but I’ve been training this time to do better.”

A dozen corporations have signed up for the run, said event chair Ted Schwartz. Some even have multiple “corporate teams” participating.

“I enjoy when people embrace the community, and that’s what this event is about,” he said. “It’s not about how fast you can run … it’s really bringing the community and the corporations together.”

Schwartz said the challenge is the Rotary Club’s largest annual fundraiser, with last year’s event bringing in about $70,000. Beneficiaries of this year’s run, he said, include North Fulton Community Charities, the Drake House and the Ed Isakson/Alpharetta Family YMCA.

Check-ins for the race start at 6 p.m. at the corner of Milton Avenue and South Main Street, with a fun run sponsored by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta set to begin an hour later.

At 7:30 p.m., the 5K officially kicks off, with an awards ceremony following at 8:30 p.m. The festivities aren’t limited to the race, however. Food trucks and live music will be there from 5 to 9 p.m., alongside a sponsor expo and several charity spotlights.

“We expect somewhere between 800 and 1,000 runners,” Schwartz said, “and I think there will be 2,000 from the Food Truck Alley … it’s conceivable this night will generate in the neighborhood of 3,000 people to downtown Alpharetta.”

The mayor said he believes this year will be the best race yet.

“One of the great things about Alpharetta and one of the things we really try to emphasize is connection with our residents and our businesses,” Belle Isle said. “I just like seeing everybody come together. It kind of creates its own family.”

As for his own pre-race preparations, Belle Isle said he hasn’t been training solo in the lead-up to his challenge.

“A friend of mine, we’ve been running together,” he said. “So it’s the first time I’ve had any kind of accountability in a running partner.”

More details on the event, including registration information and a course overview, can be viewed at mayorschallenge.com.

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