When 2,500 men, women and children gather for the 7th annual Memorial Hermann 10 for Texas race on Oct. 14 in The Woodlands, one of the event’s major sponsors will be there in more than name and donations only; he’ll be out on the race course himself.
Bret Strong, managing shareholder of The Strong Firm, P.C., will be running the event’s 10-mile race – one of literally dozens of races and endurance events in which he’s competed over the years, including three Ironman events.
As part of the firm’s sponsorship of the event, the Strong firm’s name and logo will be gracing the thousands of water bottles to be handed out to thirsty runners. The Strong firm is one of several major sponsors for the event, including Luke’s Locker, Finish Strong Coaching, CB&I, and My Fit Foods.
“We buy 5,000 bottles of water with our logo and that’s what they hand out at the end of the race,” Strong said.
“We try to do something useful for the participants that keeps our name in people’s minds and adds value to the event; we try to be creative about how we’re involved, rather than just sending a check.”
One of his firm’s attorneys also will volunteer as a risk-management consultant to The Woodlands Township and race coordinators, Strong said. The Strong Firm is the official law firm of The Woodlands Townships’ Three Signature Races: the Muddy Trails Bash, the CB&I TRI-The Woodlands Triathlon, and the Memorial Hermann 10 for Texas.
For Strong, fitness is more than a marketing opportunity – it’s a lifestyle.
He is constantly training to maintain his fitness level, running at least three times a week, heading out for a swim at lunch twice a week, and mounting his bike on Sundays for a long training ride.
That demanding schedule gets even more intense starting in January when he begins serious training for next year’s Ironman Texas competition in The Woodlands on May 18, a grueling endurance event in which competitors swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles and run a full marathon, 26.2 miles. Strong has competed in Ironman events in Germany in 2004, Arizona in 2006, and in the 2011 Ironman Texas in The Woodlands.
In addition to those events, Strong has run “four or five” marathons and numerous half-marathons, in addition to other shorter-distance races, like the 10 for Texas.
But his fitness regimen is a key component of managing the demands of a high-stress occupation and a busy practice, Strong said, as his firm gets ready to expand into new space in its offices at Waterway One.
“It happens more often than not, when I get away from the office and go run or bike and think about stuff, that’s my clearing time, my decompression time – and to me it has been among my most creative times.”
And in addition to helping him manage the demands of a busy business law practice, support for events like 10 for Texas are an important part of his connection to The Woodlands, Strong said. Strong’s firm and its role in commercial transactions has made it an integral part of much of the development in The Woodlands, and in addition Strong has served in a variety of community roles, including as a board member and chairman for the South Montgomery County Woodlands Chamber of Commerce, and as board member for the Montgomery County United Way and the South Montgomery County YMCA.
“We try to choose those things that are in keeping with the Woodlands, because we’re an integral part of it,” Strong said.
“We’re blessed to be here, we’re involved in this community, and we want to show that.”