When Kylene Rhynes, an emergency room nurse at Mercy Hospital, is working alongside her coworkers the stakes couldn’t be higher.
But once a year for the past four years, the Mercy team trades scrubs for T-shirts at the Ardmore Corporate Fitness Challenge, an event that measures the athletic abilities, creativity, teamwork and even culinary skills of Ardmore’s institutions and businesses.
For Rhynes, the two-week, 24-event challenge is a chance to see the game faces of the Mercy team in a stress-free environment.
“Where I work, it’s pretty serious, so being outside of work and competition, you get to have fun and see people in a different light,” Rhynes said. “You get to really know the people you work with.”
Proceeds from the event primarily benefit Cities In Schools, which provides after-school and summer programs with a focus on literacy for over 200 Ardmore-area youth.
And on Friday, June 1, teams will participate in the Girls on The Run of Southern Oklahoma Glow Run and GOTR 5K, which will bolster the youth development program’s already prominent annual fundraising efforts through the race.
“Every year proves to be better than the last,” the ACFC website reads. “As a community of businesses, it is an excellent way to promote team building and morale within as well as to support two local non-profit organizations.”
The Ardmore Corporate Fitness Challenge kicked off on Monday at the YMCA. It will conclude Saturday, June 2 at Ardmore High School’s Noble Stadium.
The challenge is not just a test of athleticism. There are T-shirt design contests and burger cookoffs in addition to the event’s series of physical challenges, including tug of war, a gauntlet challenge, a home run derby, dodgeball and golf, to name a few.
Rhynes said the individuals competing take pride in their company’s efforts. For Rhynes. she savors besting Noble Energy and Dollar General — which generally find a lot of success in the event.
“They’re always so good,” she said. “Noble has a lot of college kids so if you beat them it’s big. But It’s not just about winning. I’m super competitive so I have to remind myself of that sometimes. Really, it’s about having fun, coming together and having a good time for a good cause”
The event boasts teams from across the spectrum of businesses in Ardmore.
Dollar General, Michelin, Valero, DOT foods, Noble Research, Ardmore City Schools, Carter County Health Department, Ardmore Chamber of Commerce/Ardmore Young Professionals are mainstays in the event which features two divisions.
Last year, Mercy-Ardmore took the most competition points but was bested in total points by Noble Research in Division II. Dollar General, maintained it’s reign of supremacy in Division I of the event, beating Valero.