Hundreds of Employees Walk, Run, Cycle and Swim around the World in 'Miles for Minds' Challenge

Miles for Minds

This spring, employees from across ASR Group participated in our third annual Miles for Minds initiative, a fun challenge that raises awareness for mental wellbeing and promotes the positive impact that physical exercise has on mental health. Employees participated by walking, running, cycling or swimming and tracking their miles throughout the month of March.

“I was already passionate about hiking when the first Miles for Minds was launched, so of course I had to participate and look forward to it each March,” said Regional Credit Controller Constança Tasso de Figueiredo, who is based at our Lisbon Refinery. “I’m very happy to be challenged by colleagues from all over the world, which motivates me to go the extra mile and makes it so much more fun!”

Constança’s enthusiasm was shared by her fellow participants around the globe.

“The Miles for Minds challenge keeps me charged and powered up!” said Baltimore Refinery Laboratory Analyst Janel McGill-Mbagu, who participated in the running category.

Originally launched by our European Sports Committee, the event has expanded globally, with growing participation each year. Nearly 400 employees completed a total of 22,320 miles—enough miles to travel from our Thames Refinery in London to each of our refineries and offices in Belize, Mexico, the United States and Canada before crossing back over the Atlantic and to our Brindisi Refinery in Italy, with more than 6,600 miles to spare. Employees from 30 of our facilities participated, completing activities in 15 countries. 

This was the first year for the swimming category.

“We are very lucky at the Thames Refinery to be a short journey from the amazing London 2012 Olympic pool, which is an impressive piece of architecture, as well as a world class swimming venue,” said UK Finance Director Richard Evans. “I thoroughly enjoyed Miles for Minds. It is always good to have an incentive to get some exercise, plus have a little friendly, competitive rivalry with colleagues in other departments.”

For the third consecutive year, the Operations department achieved the highest average miles per participant and was awarded the Miles for Minds trophy for 2023.

In addition to raising awareness of mental well-being through physical activity, Miles for Minds encouraged many employees to choose more sustainable commutes by biking or walking instead of driving, helping to reduce their carbon footprints. 

“For me, cycling in cuts my journey in half compared with public transport,” said Controls Engineer Sam Baynham, who works at the Thames Refinery. “It’s also what I’d consider free exercise, as I have to commute to work regardless, so why not enjoy the fitness benefits that come with it and set myself up nicely for the remainder of the day.”