ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – For the first time since 2019, the CDPHP Workforce Team Challenge hit the streets of downtown Albany.

“We had to cancel in 2020 due to COVID. Last year we moved to the Altamont Fairgrounds for a little more space and social distancing but we’re super excited to be back at the Plaza this year,” says Natalia Burkart, public relations manager with CDPHP. “Really it’s just a way for companies to come together and to engage in some healthy competition and to come together and cheer each other on and really it’s a team-building activity at its core.” 

The company expected around 5,000 participants in this year’s race which is a smaller turnout than the 10,000 who ran in 2019. 500 were also running virtually from home which has been offered since the pandemic.

Gianna Molina, who ran for the Bonadio Group, decided, like many, to lace up her shoes for the first time and run the race with some of her colleagues, “I have not run this race before and I have not run any race before! And, this is the best time to try. Why not right?” 

The 3.5-mile event was completed in 17 minutes by a man from Clifton Park. For those who took a bit longer, they say the short but intense course was a perfect competition between different companies and their own co-workers.

“I’ve done the Firecracker before,” says Sarah Clift who was running for Suarez Physical Therapy, “I’ve done a marathon and a half but I like this because it is a little fast-paced and you get to see a little bit of everyone.” 

Each year, CDPHP selects a non-profit to donate the proceeds from the Workforce Team Challenge to. This year, all the money raised will go towards the Oakwood Community Center in Troy along with the Hudson Mohawk Road Runners Club.