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RailWorks Is on a Roll with Fitness

Top: RailWorks’ employees gather in Central Park for the annual Corporate Challenge run. Above: L.K. Comstock employees in Garland, Texas, are shedding plenty of pounds in their office’s weight-loss contest.

Employees in Texas are on a losing streak. And they’re happy about it.

In an event reminiscent of television’s “The Biggest Loser,” the Garland office of L.K. Comstock has embarked on a challenge that to date has meant well over 100 collective pounds shed among 21 employees.

Assistant Construction Manager Clark Chance, OCS General Foreman Tim Meyer, and Safety Manager Santiago Valasco came up with the idea last winter.  Says Clark, “A couple of us had been talking about being healthier, that maybe we’d start running and different things.  We decided to send a note with that idea to everyone else in the office and go from there.”

The group determined that competition would provide incentive, with weight-loss being the goal. Participants paid an entry fee toward winner prizes pursued a three-month challenge.  In that time, 11 people on five teams had lost 91 pounds.  The winning team of two collected American Express gift cards valued at $125 apiece.

Clark called it “a fun event that got field and office personnel involved in friendly competition.”  Things went so well, in fact, that Round 2 of the competition began almost immediately, with some employees staying involved and other newcomers joining in. One is Project Engineer John Whisman, who lost about 30 pounds and whose goal is to be fit enough to run in a 5-kilometer race.  “I am happy to report that although I haven’t participated in an official 5K race yet, I am ready and regularly run that distance now.” 

The Garland office joins the New York corporate office in challenging others to be fit.

In New York, about 35 RailWorks employees joined thousands of other workers in Central Park on June 15, 2011, for the 35th annual J.P. Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge. The 3.5-mile run, held twice over two consecutive evenings in Central Park, drew more than 30,000 employees from hundreds of companies. RailWorks participated for the second consecutive year with a team comprised of employees and interns from the corporate office in Manhattan, L.K. Comstock & Company in East Farmingdale, N.Y., and controllers from RailWorks subsidiary companies who were in town for the annual Controllers Conference.

Veronica Cortes, HR Generalist and one of the captains for the RailWorks team, noted several fellow employees who are a little more fitness-focused as a result of the Corporate Challenge event.  “There’s one who enjoyed running and is now training for a half marathon with me, and others who are now more avid about health and working out. I know of five employees who collectively have lost 99 lbs. – one person lost 63 lbs.” 

RailWorks employees from Texas to New York have discovered that getting fit is a whole lot more fun and successful when it’s done together.