What it means to take part in the Bloomberg Square Mile Relay
18 June 2019 a 3:50PM
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Ahead of our race in San Francisco on Thursday, we spoke to last year’s Fastest Team captain, Kate from Strava, about what it means to take part in the race, and what they are most looking forward to on Thursday.
What is it about the Bloomberg Square Mile Relay which has prompted you to return?
We really had a blast participating last year. There’s always the nervous excitement of a running race, and what sets the event apart is that it’s just as fun to spectate as it is to run. The laps go by so fast, and you get to cheer for the same runner multiple times in their leg. Celebrating with everyone afterwards is a mix of being relieved it’s over, and sharing stories about different moments of our races. Honestly, we were talking about this event for weeks after!
What do you and your team enjoy about taking part in the event?
It’s such a fevered blur of fast running and yelling as much as you can for your teammates. Running a mile is an adventure in being bold — how fast can I really go? — and pushing yourself when you’d really, really like to stop. Having your other teammates cheering for you helps you push even harder. I mean, in all of our Strava uploads from last year, you can literally see our pace jump up when we go by where everyone was cheering.
How do you find working as a team for the race?
Camaraderie is one of our core company values, so working together and having fun as a team is something we prioritize every day. The support we showed each other on course was just a louder version of what it’s like in the Strava office.
You are returning to defend your title, how have you chosen your team for this year’s race? What time are you aiming for?
The team sort of chose itself. We didn’t want to put together a team of our fastest runners. Aside from knowing we wanted a 50/50 gender split team, the only requirement to be eligible for the team was wanting to run your fastest mile on a wacky course. We put out a call for folks interested, and because Strava has a surplus of enthusiastic runners, we then did a drawing to fill the women’s and men’s halves of the team. I’m proud and excited that this year’s team is an even gender split, and a good mix of last year’s veterans and some newcomers.
What kind of preparation are you undertaking to take part in the Bloomberg Square Mile Relay?
We’ll do some baton handoff practice. Can’t be too careful.
We’re also making sure we’ve got our race kits and cheer situation together. Look for some classic Strava hype: the most enthusiastic people on course, and a whole lotta orange.
Is exercise/wellness a large part of your company ethos, and if so how do you accommodate it within your work life balance?
Balance is another of Strava’s core values. We’re all passionate about the product we’re building, and to help our athletes find what motivates them we need to stay connected to what motivates us as builders of that product. I see our commitment to work-life balance every day in the office, whether it’s supporting someone leaving early for their kid’s baseball game, or our weekly group running workouts. We’re all happier, more connected, and more committed when we’re taking care of ourselves.