FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 6, 2015
For more information,
Contact: Amanda Shell Jennings
Running team debuted at Stars & Strides 5K
In mid-May, US Nitrogen employees and community members met at the West Greene High School track to begin a “Couch to 5K” running training program to improve wellness and build teamwork. After only eight weeks of training, the team tested their newfound skills at the US Nitrogen Star & Strides 5K run on July 4.
“Everyone that’s participated in this program has seen improvement in themselves,” said Daniel Jessee, US Nitrogen employee and Couch to 5K coach. “Most of our participants are running for the first time, and this program is a great introduction. It’s been a great teambuilding exercise for US Nitrogen employees, and we have been glad to have a few members from the community as well.”
The Couch to 5K team consists of approximately eight individuals who met once a week as a group at West Greene High School or Greeneville Middle School to run drills. On Sundays, Jessee would send out the schedule for the week, and the participants were charged with completing two additional workouts on their own time.
Judy Bible, guidance counselor for West Greene, is participating in the Stars & Strides 5K and said the Couch to 5K team has helped keep her accountable. She saw the US Nitrogen employees putting up fliers in the school and decided to run the upcoming race.
“The team is very encouraging and patient,” Bible said. “There is camaraderie there. We encourage each other and we laugh. We’ve come a long way from day one.”
Bible, 56, has noticed an improvement in her health since beginning the program. At a recent doctor’s visit, her blood pressure was lower, which she attributed to increased activity. Bible ran track in high school, but has not run regularly in years. She hopes to continue to run after the 5K, both for her health and the sense of accomplishment.
“Judy has really stuck with the program and does the workouts religiously,” Jessee said. “She’s talked about how it’s really helped her.”
During the eight-week program, US Nitrogen invited members from the Greeneville YMCA and Fleet Feet Sports in Kingsport to teach running tips, nutrition, hydration and other important health information. If runners were unable to attend the Stars & Strides 5K, members were encouraged to sign up for other upcoming community races.
For the second year, US Nitrogen is the presenting sponsor of the Stars & Strides 5K, which raises support for Veterans Memorial Park. The race, which is organized by Vibe 5 Race Management, began in front of Greeneville Real Estate and Auction Gallery on west Summer Street in downtown Greeneville and traveled a 3.1-mile loop. A video tribute was played at the end of the race honoring the stories of local veterans.
Jessee said he hopes both the Stars & Strides 5K and the Couch to 5K program become annual events.
“Our first Couch to 5K program was a learning experience, and I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to do it again next year,” Jessee said. “It’s very important for companies to offer opportunities for their employees to get active, and US Nitrogen really makes an effort to encourage health and wellness in their employees.
“Weekly workout schedules were sent out to all US Nitrogen staff that expressed interest in the C25K program,” said Jessee. “This allowed employees to follow along in their spare time even if they couldn’t make the organized workouts.”
Research shows regular running can cause significant improvement to heart health, bone density, blood pressure and even mental acuity. According to the American Heart Association, running a total of 75 minutes per week can help prevent cardiovascular diseases. A study by Washington University also shows that running may prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia.
About US Nitrogen
Located in Greene County, Tenn. US Nitrogen is a state-of-the-art facility that will produce ammonium nitrate for industrial purposes. US Nitrogen’s state-of-the-art facility represents a more than $200 million investment in the Greene County community – the largest capital investment in Greene County history. The company will provide more than 80 technical, high-paying jobs to the region. US Nitrogen LLC is a subsidiary of Cleveland, Ohio-based Austin Powder Company, a global leader in industrial explosives used in mining operations around the world.