Brooklyn Runs, a corporate challenge 5K, launches Oct. 11

Brooklyn runs

Participants in Brooklyn Runs can enter on corporate teams or as individuals (Photo by Sanden Wolff/Courtesy of the Prospect Park Alliance)

The peak of colorful fall foliage in New York is expected to be in mid October. So what better time for a brisk run around Prospect Park? Turns out you can do that in an organized way, with lots of company and festivity afterward.

On Thurs., Oct. 11, the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce will host its first-ever 5K, Brooklyn Runs, in Prospect Park. Organized as a corporate challenge, the run will enable coworkers to form teams and compete against other companies and organizations, but individuals are welcome to register as well. Runners will take off at 5 p.m. and have 90 minutes to run or walk the 3.1-mile course.

The Brooklyn Chamber, which holds several signature events each year, decided to add one focused on health and fitness. “We wanted to merge both the corporate and community folks in Brooklyn to participate in something, fun, engaging, and really community-focused that promotes team building and helps bring awareness to the borough of Brooklyn,” said Mariela Estrella, the Chamber’s director of tourism and business relationships, who is spearheading the event.

Partners in the event are the Prospect Park Alliance and the LeFrak Center at Lakeside Prospect Park, which will be the site for the start and finish of the race. At the conclusion of the race, an after-party will take place at the LeFrak Center, which individuals can sign up to attend even if they don’t take part in the run.

brooklyn runs

Mariela Estrella, the Chamber’s director of tourism and business relationships (Photo courtesy of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce)

The route of the run is a loop on Center Park Drive, traveling counterclockwise. Runners must be at least 18 years old. The top three male and female runners will be awarded prizes. Registration is $40 per team member or individual.

The principal sponsor of the event is Just Energy, an alternative supplier of electricity and natural gas. “I think in today’s world, where people are more energy and health conscious, it just ties in with what we’re all trying to do, which is be healthier,” said Miriam Stiefel, the affinity program director of Hudson Energy, one of the company’s subsidiaries. The company is “very much into green energy and helping the environment. And Prospect Park is such a perfect location for it,” she told The Bridge.

A portion of the proceeds from the event will go to the Alliance for maintenance and improvement of the park, which hosts thousands of special events every year, from the large (New Year’s Eve fireworks) to the small (organized picnics for 30 or more people). “We do everything from maintaining the woodlands and cleaning up the lake and planting trees and flowers in the park to providing free educational programs and running the concessions in the park—the carousel, the skating rink and the wedding venues,” said Lucy Gardner, marketing and communications manager at the Alliance.

Other sponsors of the run include Investors Bank, HSBC, National Grid, Mount Sinai Health System, and Con Edison. The Bridge is a media partner. For more information, email or visit Brooklyn Runs.—By Arden Phillips