Akamai Diversity

The Akamai Blog

Akamai Reaches The Beach

Twelve co workers crammed into vans all weekend? No sleep? No showers? Camping out under the stars? Running in the woods at night? This is not everyone's idea of a good time but for Team Faster Forward - Akamai it was an amazing experience we will never forget.
A team of Akamai employees participated in the 16th annual Reach the Beach Relay in New Hampshire on 9/12 and 9/13. Reach the Beach is one of the largest events of its kind in the country with over 5,000 runners and 1,000 vehicles. The general strategy in a large team running relay event is to use two large vans and split the teams up into shifts of six legs. This allows one group to rest while the other is out on the course. Teams decorate their vans with unique features so they are easy to recognize. It was not unusual to see vans with holiday lights, hula skirts, or unicorn horns. The Akamai vans used our logo, product names and software code to stand out among the fleet of vans!

Team Faster Forward - Akamai was comprised of twelve runners from across the company. The team members rotated through 36 transition areas to cover the 207 miles distance from Cannon Mountain to Hampton Beach. The runners rotate in a set order once the race begins and follow this order until the last runner Reaches the Beach. Each team member ran three legs of varying lengths and difficulty to cover an average of 16.6 miles. In the spirit of the event the team raised over $1,500 to support the Girls Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts. As a leader in our industry, we believe that innovation comes through providing a work environment and culture where all employees feel that they can contribute and perform to the best of their abilities. Our diverse workforce combines workers from different backgrounds and experiences that together form a more creative, innovative, and productive workplace. Our partnership with Girl Scouts of Massachusetts and the population it serves couldn't be a better fit with that Diversity and Inclusion mission.

This is the first time Akamai has participated in Reach the Beach and only one team member had prior experience. There was a sense of uncertainty going into race day. Not everyone knew each other and we were unsure how comfortable we would be stuck in van for two days with people we only knew from work. Luckily once the vans were loaded up the uncertainty disappeared and we became best friends. The sense of purpose and teamwork took over instantly and we were ready to run. The next two days consisted of running, driving, camping out, drinking large quantities of coffee, porta-potties, putting on reflector vests and headlamps, eating cliff bars, drinking gatorade, more porta-potties, and most of all, making new friends with our team members and other racers.

This all culminated in an epic finish as team Co-Captain Julie Paris made her way onto the sands of Hampton Beach to greet her teammates so we could all run across the finish line together. Final time - 31 hours, 56 minutes, 20 seconds, a 9:14/per mile average. Reach the Beach was an accomplishment that will not soon be forgotten.

Akamai Reach the Beach 2014 team.jpeg Team Members

Mike McLaughlin, HR
Julie Paris, HR
Joe DeFelice, Office of CIO
Cole Distefano, Office of CIO
Matti Klock, Platform Operations
Tom Tignor, Platform Infrastructure Engineering
Tamar Pinto, Emerging Products
Tom Mistretta, Web Experience
Daniel Malcolm Abraham, Web Experience
Kim LaShomb, Corporate Services
Jessie Cassie, Corporate Services
Amanda Fakhreddine, Corporate Marketing & Communications