Participation numbers are up for Thursday’s  FLORIDA TODAY Corporate 5K and its no wonder.

After all, who could resist an evening of competition with the end rewards of fitness, a live band and green beer?

There’s also the opportunity to get a head start on St. Patrick’s Day.

The race goes green – pun intended – at 6:45 p.m. Thursday at F.I.T. Aviation at 810 Harry Goode Way, Melbourne, Melbourne International Airport.

The latest tally shows 77 companies registered for the race, with more than 1,753 participants. In 2015, 64 corporate teams and 1,156 runners and walkers took part.

Last year Mike Acosta of Viera and CEO of Viera

Pizza, captured the CEO laurels for the fifth

straight year, covering the distance in 21 minutes and 14 seconds.

Angela Coram, 36, of Palm Bay and

Pepper Tree Sandwich Shoppe, captured

the Overall Female CEO crown in 23:37.

The overall race victories went to Tory

Johansen, 24, of Melbourne and Northrup

Grumman in 16:59 and Kim Hunger, 34, of

Palm Bay and Health First in 20:22.

Hunger was 16th overall, Acosta 28th

and Coram 88th.

Participation awards went to Relm

Wireless for companies with less than 100

employees, 40; IAP World Services for

companies with 100-999 employees, 93;

Northrup Grumman for companies with

1,000 to 4,999 employees, 78; and Health

First, companies with more than 5,000

employees, 108.

For complete information and registration visit www.runningzone.com/events/corporate-5k

For the more hearty competitors, the third annual Excalibur 10-Miler is set for 7 a.m. Sunday, March 20 at Viera High on Stadium Parkway.

Excalibur has quickly become one of the Space Coast’s premier events, offering participants and challenging and rewarding course and perks worthy of nobles.

After all, The Running Zone Foundation is giving

runners more incentives to conquer the

Excalibur.

Beginning this year the foundation will

debut the Excalibur 10-Miler Game of Stone

Series, Quest for the Holy Grail that will run

through 2019.

The series will award Legendary

Finisher Crowns in the form of Emerald for

2016, Sapphire for 2017, Ruby for 2018 and

Diamond for 2019.

Runners who complete three races

in four years will receive a King Arthur

pennant. Run all four years for the Elusive

Chalice and pennant.

All Excalibur finishers get metal crowns.

For complete information on Excalibur and

the series visit ExcaliburRun.com.