T-Mobile US CEO John Legere opens up wallet to runners at local road race

CEO and president of T-Mobile US, John Legere, is an avid runner and offered a large sum of prize money to elite runners at the Carlsbad 5K in California.

John Legere Running

John Legere sweetened the prize pot for the Carlsbad 5000 in California on Sunday putting up bonuses of his own.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that T-Mobile US CEO and president John Legere is invested in running. The former nationally competitive runner stills incorporates the sport into his daily life and put up more than US$10,000 in prize money to encourage fast times at a road race in California.

At the Carlsbad 5000, a 5K road race in Carlsbad, Calif. on Sunday morning, the 57-year-old businessman challenged American runners with finishing in the top-three, setting an American record (US$3,000), and setting a world masters record (US$4,000). That’s in addition to the US$3,000 in prize money offered by the race itself.

Legere paid up as runners raced to some of the fastest times in the event’s 31-year history.

Journeyman Bernard Lagat earned his payday by breaking the world masters record, which Legere encouraged before the race by offering US$3,000 for any athlete to do so. Lagat is 41 and will be looking to qualify for the U.S. Olympic team. He’s been at each of the previous four Olympic Games; first representing Kenya before becoming a U.S. citizen.

Sunday’s race, just north of San Diego, is billed as the world’s fastest 5K and consistently attracts some of the best runners in the world. Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei and Ethiopian great Meseret Defar won the men’s and women’s races.

No American finished in the top-three.

His Twitter feed is full of running-related content including a recent April Fool’s Day prank (see below tweet), running in the snowstorm that hit the eastern seaboard in January, dubbed Snowzilla, and regularly documenting his runs in Central Park in New York City.

T-Mobile US is the third largest wireless network provider in the United States. He was appointed CEO in September 2012.

There were a number of Canadians at the event in California, though no wireless network provider north of the border added any sort of additional monetary incentives, including Jessica O’Connell and Kevin Friesen. O’Connell (16:02) finished ninth in the elite women’s race while Friesen (14:33) was second in the 29 and under category.

RELATED: Pan Am runner profile: Jessica O’Connell

Lynn Williams (1989) and Angela Chalmers (1996) are the only two Canadians to have ever won the race.

Legere, who previously worked for AT&T and Dell, was an avid runner while attending the University of Massachusetts. He ran the Boston Marathon in 2004 for charity and helped raise US$85,000.

He’s a regular in Central Park and is not shy about posting the content on social media as can be seen in the below tweet with his daughter.

A mid-winter snowstorm didn’t interrupt his running plans either as he hit the roads in two feet of snow during January’s blizzard.

As influential as Legere is, running had an even more popular figure make an appearance on the scene recently. See which movie star ran under the name “Matthew Greenleaf” at this local road race.