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Active Network encourages its own employees to get active

As a company that provides technology solutions, marketing services and online media properties that enable and encourage participation in activities and events, Active Network not only provides external services to promote a fit planet, but has long been a company that encourages its own employees to pursue an active, healthy lifestyle. "The Active Network was founded by individuals who believed that health and an active lifestyle were paramount to success," said Dave Alberga, CEO of Active. "I'm proud to say that this principle is still very much alive and part of Active's culture today."

In November 2007, Arch Fuston, an Active employee and Ironman triathlete, began organizing workouts for fellow employees. Staff members met three times a week before, during and after work to get in a quick sweat. The workouts became a great way for employees to stay healthy, connected and encouraged teamwork within the office. Due to its grassroots popularity, the workouts soon expanded into a formalized program open to all employees known as ActiveX.

"ActiveX began with eight employees and has now grown to over 500 with staff members as far as China participating," said Fuston, creative manager at Active and the driving force behind ActiveX. "The great thing about the workouts is they go far beyond encouraging physical health. The confidence gained from the physical permeates the mental, resulting in better work performance and healthier and happier employees."

For the last two years, San Diego employees have also participated in Active's annual Corporate Challenge, an endurance training and fundraising program that promotes physical activity as well as philanthropy. More than 200 employees have signed up each year to compete in the Solana Beach Triathlon and have raised more than $122,000 for the Monarch School in San Diego. Although 80 percent of those employees had never done a triathlon before, many have continued to compete in triathlons since, some even tackling the daunting Ironman event. This year, eight of the Active Network's offices have selected an athletic event and nonprofit partner of their choice to support and will be training together to prepare for the event.

Liz Harrell, director of product management and projects for Active, began participating in ActiveX in March 2009. Harrell was not an athlete growing up and struggled to find a fitness regimen that she could integrate into her busy lifestyle. After reaching what she described as the heaviest time in her life, Harrell decided to join Active's charity challenge and participate in the Solana Beach Triathlon in 2009. Not only did she complete the triathlon, but has since participated in five endurance events including the Mission Bay Triathlon, which she and her 16-year-old daughter finished together. Harrell is registered to compete in seven endurance events this year and is currently in the best physical shape of her life.

"A few years ago when people at work talked about a bib, I only thought of what I put on my daughter as a baby," Harrell said. "I now have a collection of my own (race) bibs."

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