It was a beautiful Sunday morning as runners gathered for the annual Corporate Cup Run in Omaha’s Aksarben Village.  A sea of colorful t-shirts represented employees from companies across the city, coming together to have fun and raise money to fight lung disease.

Sherrie Graeve and Shanna McCormack were there, part of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska’s team.

BCBSNE runners

BCBSNE Corporate Cup runners Shanna McCormack on left, Melissa Kirkpatrick and Sherrie Graeve

“These events are so inspiring and just make you glad that you are active,” said Graeve.  “I feel lucky to work for a company that really encourages health and wellness.”

“As you are running you see friends waving at each other as they pass on the path,” said McCormack. “You can feel a sense of community.”

It was the second year for Graeve and the fifth for McCormack to compete in the race.

“It is a challenging race, so many hills, but I get to run with friends and family,” Graeve said.

“The atmosphere and energy is so different from any other run I’ve participated in.” McCormack said.

They weren’t always runners.

“When I started, I basically googled “Running for Dummies” and updated a calendar at home with a training plan I found,” Graeve said.  “Now I run from three to six miles each day of the week and longer on Saturdays.”

“I try to run at least three miles every day to stay in shape.” McCormack said.  “My goal for this run was to keep a 10-minute pace and not walk.  I met that goal, so my Corporate Cup run was a success!”

Graeve runs each morning. She said it starts her day off right and puts her in the right “headspace.”  McCormack jokingly said the hardest part of her workout is changing into her workout clothes, saying if she gets that accomplished she feels she’s half-way done with her workout.

Each of them encourage others to try running.  They suggest starting by setting small goals for yourself.  A walk, a walk with some running, a little more running, etc.  You’ll look back, McCormack said, and you’ll feel empowered by how far you have come.

Graeve said she ran quite a bit of the race going back and forth with another runner—at times he would pass her, then she would pass him. Because of her training, she said she had enough energy to beat him at the finish line. “My old lady pride got in the way,” she laughed.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska is a sponsor of the Fight for Air Corporate Cup.