Managing complex computer software for clients worldwide is all in a day's work for staff at SRO Solutions in Eccles.
But undertaking a regular programme of exercise training for the Great Manchester Run on Sunday, May 22, is proving more of a challenge.
Friendly rivalry among employees over how long it will take them to complete the 10k course is adding spice to the build up for their debut in the event.
SRO Solutions is one of dozens of north west companies and organisations which have entered the Business Challenge, competing for the prize of Manchester's Greatest Businesses as part of the Great Manchester Run.
Managing Director Steve Driver and Technical Director Tony Lackey used their vast experience as former marine engineers to set up the company 11 years ago.
SRO Solutions supply and maintain high-end IBM Maximo asset management systems for the marine offshore industry, including ships and oil rigs. It has also developed its own unique software, enabling expansion into other industry sectors where their software is now used such as ports, utilities, government and even at the Disney theme parks in America.
Many of the 26-strong workforce are often out in the field but 10 of the team based mainly at their headquarters at Orbit House have signed up for the Run.
At 54, Steve is the oldest runner in their team. He joked: "Everyone's being cagey about the times they're going to run and I suppose some won't want to come in behind the old grey man. The Run is good for morale and, as our consultants can spend long hours at their desks or sat on aeroplanes, it's a great reason to get fit and change diets in the New Year although finding time to train isn't always easy."
The Business Challenge is expected to attract more than 3,300 runners in a field of up to 40,000 with a trophy awarded to the fastest small, medium and large businesses.
Mark Hollinshead, CEO of organisers The Great Run Company, said: “The Great Manchester Run is not only Manchester's Greatest Run it is also Manchester's Greatest Business Challenge. Every year hundreds of small, medium and large businesses enter teams, train hard and line up on the start line to battle to be Manchester's Greatest.
"Manchester is a powerhouse and we're expecting the business sector to live up to its reputation and come out in force for this year's Manchester's Greatest Run Business Challenge.”
Businesses can enter at www.greatrun.org/manchesterbusiness