ALPHARETTA, Ga. — More than 1,500 people — most donning shorts and corporate T-shirts — took to the streets Aug. 22 for the 23rd annual Mayor’s Corporate Challenge 5K run.
The event, which began at 7 p.m., closed neighboring streets as a flood of spectators and runners alike crowded downtown Alpharetta.
The race is sponsored each year by the Alpharetta Rotary Club with major corporate sponsorship.
Visitors wound their way throughout the maze of closed-off streets at City Center, wandering from booth to booth, partaking of water, hamburgers, bananas and peanuts.
The race supports a number of local causes throughout North Fulton and worldwide, said Fran Schefer, Alpharetta Rotary co-chair for the 2019 event.
“The money truly funds important charitable works,” Schefer said. “This is by far our biggest fundraising event of the year.”
Last year’s Mayor’s Corporate Challenge brought in close to $130,000 and netted about $110,000 after expenses, Shefer said.
“We appreciate our local residents for their support, and we’re sensitive to the road closings,” he said, adding that Rotary works hard with the city to keep disruptions to a minimum.
Monica Garrett, community relations director for LexisNexis Risk Solutions, the key corporate sponsor for the run, said the event began in the late ’90s at the company’s headquarters up on Windward Parkway. At that time, she said, the run began in the parking lot and included a loop around the campus.
“It was known as The Windward Challenge,” she said.
Jennifer Richman, spokeswoman for the company, said LexisNexis Risk Solutions reached out to the city and Rotary in 2013 to explore a partnership, and the event took off for downtown.
Alpharetta Mayor Jim Gilvin lined up to lead the race at 7 p.m. sharp.
Standing at the front of the pack, but well over to the side seconds before the start, Gilvin thanked all the sponsors and residents who made the race possible.
“All I ask,” he concluded, “is that when the good runners take off, please don’t run me down.”