The lack of physical exercise and a sedentary lifestyle is a major influence on our health and quality of life. This is especially true of workers who spend most of their working day sitting in front of a computer screen. Many companies are aware of the problem and have set up programmes to encourage their employees to do more sport.
This is the idea behind the creation of the Santander Company Race, three years ago, a contest that aims to make companies and employees aware of the importance of a healthy lifestyle. Since its very first edition, Fira de Barcelona has backed this competition because, in the words of the Head of In-house Business and an Ironman himself, Salvador Tasqué, “we want to help to encourage sport and health at work and in companies”.
According to experts in workplace health, sport releases tension, improves our health and raises our quality of life, contributes to relations between colleagues and reduces the time lost to sickness. For all these reasons, Fira de Barcelona is encouraging sport by supporting the Fira Sports Team, an initiative created by the employees themselves who take part in athletics and cycling, among other activities, offering personal training and physiotherapy for those who want to jog around Montjuïc.
IIt was practically a foregone conclusion that Fira would get involved in a contest like the Santander Company Race that used the slogan “Get out of the office and run” to attract 3,000 runners from more than 300 companies for this year’s run. The routes covered 10 and 5 kilometres through Hospitalet de Llobregat with 3km of fast, comfortable indoor sections in the interiors of the Gran Via site.
Fira, third place for teams
Fira de Barcelona was represented by 30 athletes, two of whom (Salvador Tasqué and José Miguel García) achieved third place on the podium in the category of two-runner teams.
The third edition of the Company Race had one top-flight competitor in Martin Fiz (55), world marathon champion in 1995 and ambassador of Bank Santander’s ‘123 a correr’ programme, who took part wearing a suit and tie. Fiz was third in the overall rankings and first in the Individual Executive category, a particularly tough ordeal “especially because the suit really starts to cling after five kilometres, and you can’t take long strides because the sweat makes the trousers stick to your thighs”. The runners Daniel Serra, with a time of 30:59 in the men’s race, and Cristina Silva, at 38:13 in the women’s race, were the winners.
This year’s edition also had a charitable side to it, because the participants donated gifts for the Obra Social de Sant Joan de Déu a hospital charity that will give them to people at risk of social exclusion.