The 2009 Half Marathon Challenge

Two years ago, I ran the Country Music Half Marathon for the first time. Sixty-five of my colleagues from Thomas Nelson ran with me (about 10% of our workforce at the time). It was such a great experience that we did it again in 2007. Last year, we doubled the number of participants—135 finished the race (about 20% of our workforce).

Runners in a race

Well, we want to do it again this year. My goal is for 150 of our Thomas Nelson employees to run the half marathon this year. This represents about 25% of our post lay-off workforce. I don’t know about you, but after the holidays, I am feeling more motivated than ever to get myself in shape.The Country Music Half Marathon is scheduled for April 25, 2009, here in Nashville, Tennessee. If you have never participated, this is an amazing race. It features many of Nashville’s best live bands on 28 stages along the 13.1-mile course. The musically-themed road race is expected to attract 35,000 participants. You can’t imagine the energy and excitement that many walkers and runners can generate.

Why run a half marathon? Here are my top five reasons, gleaned from two years of personal experience:

  1. You will lose weight. We had people in our workforce who lost over 50 pounds.
  2. You will feel better than you’ve likely ever felt in your life.
  3. It will make you more energetic and productive at work—and when you get home from work.
  4. You will be able to apply what you learn from running (or walking) to other areas of life.
  5. It will give you confidence to tackle other significant life goals.

It short, it will change your life. If you don’t believe me, read the testimonials form last year.

If you are a Thomas Nelson employee, I have an offer you can’t refuse. First, like last year, go ahead and register for the race. Next, notify Lindsey Nobles if you plan to run the race. She is our official team coordinator.

Here’s the best part. If you complete the half marathon or full marathon—even if you only walk—you will receive the following:

  • An official Team Thomas Nelson t-shirt. We will all wear these the day of the race.
  • Reimbursement for your registration fee.
  • Official public recognition at the first All Employee Meeting following the race.

This year we are also partnering with New Hope Academy in Franklin, Tennessee. I am especially excited about this part of the program. We want to help them raise $300,000 to enable low-income children the opportunity to get an exceptional, Christian education. In return, Powered by Hope, the fund-raising arm of New Hope Academy, will provide personalized training for all of our fund-raising participants.

For now, the important thing is to register for the Half Marathon and start training. The moment you commit, is the moment the change begins. Do it now!

If you have additional questions, I have a detailed FAQ that you can read here.

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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are snarky, offensive, or off-topic. If in doubt, read My Comments Policy.

  • http://www.mengjade.com Jade

    Great company culture! Life is like a Marathon. “The moment you commit, is the moment the change begins.” A good starting is important, the more important is that you use your energy well and have fortitude to continue to the end.

  • http://chuckwestbrook.com Chuck

    I’m running my second half-marathon at the end of March. My first was the Country Music Half-Marathon in Nashville back in 2004, and I really enjoyed it.

  • Lindsey Nobles

    I’ve signed up, gotten my running shoes, and now I guess I just need to get off my couch. Tomorrow :)

  • http://www.caraputman.com Cara Putman

    My husband and I are registered for the Indianapolis mini-marathon. It’s great motivation to keep moving during the winter months, and now I’m considering adding a fall mini to keep up the work the rest of the year. Good luck to all the TN employees who embrace this challenge. It’s an amazing sense of accomplishment!

  • http://passionsforthesoul.typepad.com/vicki Vicki Small

    How difficult would it be to set up a contribution form, or something, for people who won’t be running the marathon (like me, for example) to pledge a contribution to Powered by Hope in honor of Thomas Nelson? It could be pledge amount per mile, or based on how many TN folks finish the race, or just straight donations…or any other configuration you all might come up with!

  • http://profile.typekey.com/mhyatt/ Michael Hyatt

    @Vicki, I’m not sure how difficult this would be, but this is a great idea. I have passed the information on to some of my folks who can, hopefully, make this work.

    Thanks so much for your interest in participating.

    Mike

  • http://www.mengjade.com/ Jade

    Great company culture! Life is like a Marathon. "The moment you commit, is the moment the change begins." A good starting is important, the more important is that you use your energy well and have fortitude to continue to the end.

  • http://chuckwestbrook.com/ Chuck

    I'm running my second half-marathon at the end of March. My first was the Country Music Half-Marathon in Nashville back in 2004, and I really enjoyed it.

  • Lindsey Nobles

    I've signed up, gotten my running shoes, and now I guess I just need to get off my couch. Tomorrow :)

  • http://www.caraputman.com/ Cara Putman

    My husband and I are registered for the Indianapolis mini-marathon. It's great motivation to keep moving during the winter months, and now I'm considering adding a fall mini to keep up the work the rest of the year. Good luck to all the TN employees who embrace this challenge. It's an amazing sense of accomplishment!

  • http://passionsforthesoul.typepad.com/vicki Vicki Small

    How difficult would it be to set up a contribution form, or something, for people who won't be running the marathon (like me, for example) to pledge a contribution to Powered by Hope in honor of Thomas Nelson? It could be pledge amount per mile, or based on how many TN folks finish the race, or just straight donations…or any other configuration you all might come up with!

  • http://profile.typekey.com/mhyatt/ Michael Hyatt

    @Vicki, I'm not sure how difficult this would be, but this is a great idea. I have passed the information on to some of my folks who can, hopefully, make this work.

    Thanks so much for your interest in participating.

    Mike

  • Larry Carpenter

    Mike, I would love to run again this year. My only concern is that we return from the London Book Fair on the 23rd. Running with jet lag. Could be fun! We have a half marathon here in Cincinnati that I am going to try to run also.

  • Larry Carpenter

    Mike, I would love to run again this year. My only concern is that we return from the London Book Fair on the 23rd. Running with jet lag. Could be fun! We have a half marathon here in Cincinnati that I am going to try to run also.

  • http://passionsforthesoul.typepad.com/vicki Vicki Small

    Michael, I’m glad you like my idea! However, I belatedly remembered that, before we would contribute anything, my generous-but-careful husband (it’s a good thing) would want to know how Powered by Hope is rated, as a charity. I just checked on Charity Navigators and PbH isn’t listed. Where can you point me for information?

  • http://passionsforthesoul.typepad.com/vicki Vicki Small

    Oops! Just Googled the organization and realized you hadn’t said it was a charity; it’s the fundraising arm for New Hope Academy. Hmmm…when your folks get your end of my suggestion figured out, I’ll approach my spouse.

  • http://passionsforthesoul.typepad.com/vicki Vicki Small

    Michael, I'm glad you like my idea! However, I belatedly remembered that, before we would contribute anything, my generous-but-careful husband (it's a good thing) would want to know how Powered by Hope is rated, as a charity. I just checked on Charity Navigators and PbH isn't listed. Where can you point me for information?

  • http://passionsforthesoul.typepad.com/vicki Vicki Small

    Oops! Just Googled the organization and realized you hadn't said it was a charity; it's the fundraising arm for New Hope Academy. Hmmm…when your folks get your end of my suggestion figured out, I'll approach my spouse.

  • http://www.kimmirich.wordpress.com Kimmi

    Hi, Michael, I think with a new year we always feel compelled to set new goals. And any goal which helps charities, reduces stress and improves health is awesome.

  • http://www.kimmirich.wordpress.com/ Kimmi

    Hi, Michael, I think with a new year we always feel compelled to set new goals. And any goal which helps charities, reduces stress and improves health is awesome.

  • http://www.janetroller.com Janet Roller

    Michael-
    I JUST heard about this last night and was delighted to hear TN is participating again. I’ve laced up today…let the training begin!
    Janet

  • http://www.janetroller.com/ Janet Roller

    Michael-
    I JUST heard about this last night and was delighted to hear TN is participating again. I've laced up today…let the training begin!
    Janet

  • http://www.donnapartow.com Donna Partow

    Ya’ll are smarter than me. I thoroughly enjoyed running half-marathons so went on to a full-marathon. It was absolutely miserable and ruined running for me! Stick with the half. It’s a great accomplishment and much more do-able for the human body.

    Congrats.

  • http://www.donnapartow.com/ Donna Partow

    Ya'll are smarter than me. I thoroughly enjoyed running half-marathons so went on to a full-marathon. It was absolutely miserable and ruined running for me! Stick with the half. It's a great accomplishment and much more do-able for the human body.

    Congrats.

  • http://jennicatron.tv Jenni Catron

    I love that you encourage your entire staff to do this. It’s an amazing feeling of accomplishment. I’ll be running along and cheering you guys on!

  • http://jennicatron.tv/ Jenni Catron

    I love that you encourage your entire staff to do this. It's an amazing feeling of accomplishment. I'll be running along and cheering you guys on!

  • Chris Seay

    hmmm…this sounds interesting. Thomas Nelson Authors get a T-shirt too? I may try to fly in for this race.

  • Chris Seay

    hmmm…this sounds interesting. Thomas Nelson Authors get a T-shirt too? I may try to fly in for this race.

  • Jason

    The last couple of years you blogged heavily about running, updated the number of employees signed up to run, etc. This year we've only heard from you about the half-marathon once, and no updates about employee involvement. Why the change?

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Jason, unfortunately, I have just not had the opportunity to push the race heavily this year. The business environment has been extremely challenging, and I have also been traveling quite a bit. I am running this year and so is my wife and quite a few of our employees.

  • Jason

    The last couple of years you blogged heavily about running, updated the number of employees signed up to run, etc. This year we've only heard from you about the half-marathon once, and no updates about employee involvement. Why the change?

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Jason, unfortunately, I have just not had the opportunity to push the race heavily this year. The business environment has been extremely challenging, and I have also been traveling quite a bit. I am running this year and so is my wife and quite a few of our employees.

  • Anonymous

    I'm probably a little late to comment here but one training approach that has been very effective in improving my overall fitness in the least amount of time has been Crossfit. They put up a workout daily that, with some creativity and ingenuity, most garages can handle and it's FUN. Shorter runs, more intense met-con workouts with lots of body weight stuff along with lifts.

  • Anonymous

    I'm probably a little late to comment here but one training approach that has been very effective in improving my overall fitness in the least amount of time has been Crossfit. They put up a workout daily that, with some creativity and ingenuity, most garages can handle and it's FUN. Shorter runs, more intense met-con workouts with lots of body weight stuff along with lifts.

  • http://newdaynewlesson.com susie

    I find it very interesting that when you start thinking of something or doing something, more and more examples of that thing fall in your lap so to say.

    I used to be an avid exerciser and the past few years have been a couch potato. Then on twitter more and more people have been talking about running and 6 days ago so did i, slowly. Am already thinking about trying for a 5 or 10K race in 6 months or so.

    Now it seems every other article I read has something to do with running or marathons.

  • http://twitter.com/dbonleadership Dan

    Great reasons to run a marathon. I use to run cross country in High School and have been wanting to get back into it. That’s great that you included people from Thomas Nelson. It must have been a great team building experience.

  • http://www.forward-living.com W. Mark Thompson

    Cool. Nice post. Just committed to my first half marathon. Barely run a 5K without passing out at the moment. Hoping to do some serious training by the time the half marathon gets here.