HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) -- Henrico County is encouraging employees on all levels of fitness to sign up for the Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10K on April 13.
“We’ve had 565 employees who have registered," Liz Stovall with Henrico County said. "There is a sense of family that we care about their health and encourage employee health for many years to come.”
Hundreds of Henrico’s employees have taken advantage like engineer, Bryan Morrison.
“This is my first time running a race like the 10K," Morrison said. "Just learning about the training, preparing my body for it. Hopefully it is something I can continue on with.”
AJ Ruddy, a Henrico police officer, is training along with hundreds of his fellow coworkers. CBS 6 caught up with AJ during his mid-day run on a treadmill at the county’s training center on Parham Road in western Henrico.
“Whether they walk it or run it. They off the couch to complete 6.2 miles. That is great,” Ruddy said. “It is a great event for you to set your goal.”
By covering registration costs now, Henrico County believes a trim workforce will benefit taxpayers long after the race is over.
Andrew Hoffman, who has been working for Henrico County for 19 years, signed up for the 10K. He's taking advantage of the free weekly training team.
“By staying fit you lower the health care costs,” Hoffman said. “You feel better about yourself and that shows up in job performance.”
Sports Backers, which is promoting similar programs in Richmond, Chesterfield and Hanover, said collectively runners and walkers are helping the region become healthy.
“Anytime people join a team it makes them feel better about themselves it raises self-esteem,” Sports Backers' Tasha Adams said. “It just puts physical fitness on the map.”
For many of the Henrico workers, tackling the 10K is a first. But knowing there is a coworker joining them step for step is giving them an added boost.
“To have the can-do attitude. The 'I can do it attitude,' because it can be done,” 14-year Henrico employee Brenda Smith said.
Back on the treadmill, Ruddy said training with fellow workers fosters stronger relationships beyond nine to five.
“It is great for the county to support us like this,” Ruddy said. “We’re going to have like 400 of my best friends out there running in the group together.”