Virginia 10 Miler: Genworth's Commitment to Healthy Living

Lynchburg, VA - The Virginia 10 Miler theme this year is to "live healthy," and no one is a better example of that than the race's title sponsor Genworth.

The company goes far beyond paying for 225 employees to take part in the races. They're promoting overall health in a lot of ways, and it's really paying off.

About a year ago, John Thomas went for his first run with co-workers at Genworth.

"By the time the 4 Miler came around in September, I was down to 9 minute miles," Thomas recalled.{} "Did the 4 mile version and have just stayed with this workout and regimen and I'm going to do the 10 Miler this year."

On his journey to the finish line, Thomas' life has really changed.

"I have lost 44 pounds and my cholesterol is lower than it's ever been.{} It's been a tremendous difference for me physically and it's been a lifestyle change," Thomas said.

Thomas gets a lot of support from Genworth -- a leader in our area when it comes to emphasizing health and wellness for employees. Communications director R.B. Carter said that is something they take very seriously.

"It's something that being in the life insurance business, long term care insurance business, you know health and fitness and wellness is a big part of what we do," Carter said. "We want folks to live the best that they can and quality of life to be good.

From an onsite gym, to healthy options in the cafeteria, and fitness challenges throughout the year Genworth is hoping to help foster more success stories like Thomas.'

"That's the best part the whole thing," Carter said. "People telling me thanks for having this thing -- it's just really been so helpful. I've lost 3 pant sizes or my cholesterol is down. I'm no longer insulin dependent so we get a lot of people coming back to us with their stories."

"It's made me more active, I feel more vibrant, I have more energy at work," Thomas said.{} "I'm able to run with my friends and do things I haven't been able to do in the past with the extra weight."

The idea behind the citywide 100 Mile Challenge through the Live Healthy Lynchburg movement is actually the brain child of Genworth.{}

They've been doing it leading up to the Virginia 10 Miler to encourage employees to take part for the last couple of years, and they shared the idea with the Chamber of Commerce.

They also have a Strive for Five Challenge - work out 5 days a week for 30 minute a day - that they hope the city will pick up too.