Wrapped up in her third straight victory, Royal Mail Letters' Claire Martin checks her watch as she breaks the tape at the July 12 JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge in London. What Martin saw was an impressive time of 19:08, second fastest in 2007. Photos by Ingrid Abery/hotcapers.com.
Series-leading time, Martin's 3rd victory
highlight second night of racing in London
Results | Photo Gallery
Some of the capacity field of 12,930 runners race across a grassy section of the Battersea Park course.
LONDON, July 12, 2007 – There's a new standard for speed in the 2007 JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge Series. It belongs to Phil Wicks of Legal & General.
Wicks, a member of the Britain 's Cross Country national team and a claims administrator during working hours, burned up the 5.6km (3.5 mile) Battersea Park course in 16:13 to win the men's title on the second night of the JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge in London. His time was tops in this year's Series, easily besting the previous mark of 16:47 set by Transwerk's Nkosinoxolo Sonquibido in Johannesburg on March 1.
A Corporate Challenge rookie, the 23-year-old Wicks ran the fastest time in London since Chris Davies of Royal Mail Letters also turned in a 16:13 on July 9, 2003. Wicks' effort was the best in the Series since June 1, 2006 when Oliver Mintzlaff of Puma broke the Frankfurt finish line tape in 16 minutes flat.
“The atmosphere was fantastic,” said Wicks, who competed for Great Britain in the World Cross Country Championships this past spring in Kenya. “The camaraderie was a highlight for me, and it was great to see so many people out running who wouldn't normally be doing so.”
A sold-out crowd of 12,930 participants from 302 companies joined Wicks at the starting line, among them the men's winner of 2006 JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge Championship in New York, Angus Maclean from HGNO Healthcare. Maclean was the best on Park Avenue last October, but was third on this night in 16:59, trailing Wicks and second-place finisher Billy Farquharson of Royal Mail Letters, a perennial powerhouse company at this event.
Claire Martin captures her third straight London title in 19:08
Farquharson's teammate, Claire Martin, defined that power on this night, winning the women's division in a speedy 19:14, the second fastest women's time of the year, trailing only the other-worldly effort of Symantec's Suzy Walsham (18:38) in Singapore on May 3.
“I've won here the past three years now,” said Martin, a mail carrier, “and I've also won the Championship the past two, so I'm hoping to make it three in a row there too. But what makes this race unique is the fact that everyone has a smile on their faces. Since it is a team race, everybody pulls together.”
Martin's effort was phenomenal. The second-place finisher, Jane Laws of Paul Davis & Partners, was nearly two minutes behind in 21:04. To put that in perspective, Laws would have been the first-place finisher in the first night of the Corporate Challenge in Battersea.
Moments before the start of the race, runners are in great spirits at the starting line.
At the finish line rooting home both Wicks and Martin was Victoria Pendleton, one of the best cyclists in Britain, with four World Championship gold medals and another at the Commonwealth Games. She was on hand representing event beneficiary SportsAid, the organization that provides financial and training assistance in the development of young athletes.
“There were some amazing times,” marveled Pendleton. “I don't think I'd be able to compete with them on foot, but maybe I'll have a go on my bike next year!
“It's fantastic that JPMorgan supports SportsAid,” Pendleton continued. “When I was starting out, SportsAid gave me the ability to focus on training and that's invaluable in leveling the playing field for young athletes.”
The evening's blend of competition, camaraderie and community was attractive to Anna Dingley of Bloomberg, who was making her Corporate Challenge debut and was not quite sure how to accessorize.
“It's great to be out in the sunshine, bringing the office into Battersea Park,” Dingley said, moments before after a rainbow cascaded over the staging area. “I just hope the jogging doesn't damage my Blackberry!”
Among those who also managed to jam some competitive running into their busy schedules were the men's and women's Most Senior Executive winners, Tom Hickey of Tullow Oil (20:05) and Alice Bordini of Carlton Partners (34:48). It was Hickey's fourth consecutive year in the winner's circle and Bordini embraced the marketing edge.
“I have to admit that it is more of a social event for me,” Bordini said. “It is great to be out running for charity and it is also a good way to raise awareness of the company.”
Espresso Education was judged to be the most creative of the bunch, edging out hundreds of other companies who designed their own t-shirts. They will receive a donation from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation to donate to the charity of their choice.
“I remember back to when this event first started here (in 1987) and it's wonderful to see how it has grown phenomenally,” said Bruce Bettencourt, Managing Director of JPMorgan and the host of the event. “My highlight, in addition to finishing in 33:43, was being able to donate to a phenomenal charity that will impact young athletes in a material way. Everyone here should be really proud of contributing to that.”
Ben Noad of Runners Need is about to break the finish line tape held by Bill Winters, co-CEO of JPMorgan Investment Bank, and 11-time Paralympic gold medalist Tanni Grey-Thompson.
With Olympians on hand, London race
nets impressive results on ideal, sunny day
Results | Photo Gallery
Bill Winters, co-CEO of the JPMorgan Investment Bank (right), presents a check to Tim Lawler, CEO of race beneficiary SportsAid.
LONDON, July 11, 2007 – They won gold in Barcelona, Atlanta, Sydney and Athens, but on this night Sir Matthew Pinsent and Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson – two of the most decorated Olympic athletes in British history – were very content to be spectators in their native land.
“It is fantastic to see so many people out running and being active,” Pinsent said, moments after a sold-out crowd of 12,724 from 305 companies started the 21st annual JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge in Battersea Park. “It is reassuring that the sporting heart of the capital is beating so strongly.”
Pinsent – who has earned four Olympic and 10 World Championship gold medals in rowing – was on hand representing event beneficiary SportsAid, the organization that provides financial and training assistance in the development of young athletes. With the Olympic Summer Games coming to London in 2012, there was additional pride among the participants in seeing Pinsent and Grey-Thompson, and contributing to the success of SportsAid.
“This is a thoroughly enjoyable event, with a cross-section of corporate firms all pulling together for an extremely worthwhile, charitable cause,” said Nikhil Chouksey, a tax accountant for Deloitte, a huge supporter of the race with 1,001 total participants.
Deloitte earned the respect of the Olympians because not only did it have a large number of runners, but also one of the quickest. Amy Dale won the women's division, covering the 5.6km (3.5 mile) Battersea Park course in 21:05. Ben Noad, representing Runners Need, captured the men's title in 17:01.
“Their dedication to fitting in training no matter what is really admirable,” said Grey-Thompson, a winner of a staggering 11 gold medals on the track at the last four Paralympics. “It is great that the JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge exists to help companies encourage their employees to get out, get training, and get fit.”
After a rainy day in central London, the sun bathed the participants from start throughout the post-race party, adding to the camaraderie-rich environment.
“We are really proud of the Corporate Challenge,” said Bill Winters, co-CEO of the JPMorgan Investment Bank, and host of the evening. “This year is definitely the best we have seen here in London and a real personal highlight was meeting two Olympians and other talented young athletes from SportsAid that will doubtless go on to perform on an international stage.”
There were no gold medals to be won on this night, but the finisher t-shirts, company bragging rights and cold refreshments were appropriate awards.
“This is my seventh year and I am sure it won't be my last,” said Louise Neckar from the Treasury Marketing department at Merrill Lynch. “This is the perfect opportunity to socialize with your work mates outside of the office. The fact that everyone is wearing their company t-shirts really motivates you.”
Wearing a lucky number of 777, Diane Debiais accepts water from a volunteer following the race.
“What better way to spend the evening than doing a bit of exercise followed by a bit of partying afterwards,” said Susie Babbe from ABN AMRO. “It's great to get people out of the office and giving it a go.”
The individual winners – Noad and Dale – were both first-time champions. Noad defeated his colleague Ryan McKinlay by 26 seconds, with James Bowler of Kingswood Map Mechanics third in 17:39. Dale was a 22-second winner over second-place female Deyanira Rivera Luna of JPMorgan, with Lara Bromilow of HSBC a competitive third.
“I'll be back to defend my title next year,” said Noad, whose company, Runners Need, has four specialty running retail locations in London. “This is the perfect event for bringing people together and the highlight for me has been coming down with all my colleagues and enjoying the atmosphere.”
Also enjoying the fruits of victory were the men's and women's Most Senior Executive champs – Keith Webster of Enviros (24:07) and Joscelin Conrad of Tate (39:31). For Webster, this event is part of his business DNA. He ran a speedy 19:00 in the 1987 Corporate Challenge.
Tudor Capital flashed its creative side, winning the evening's T-Shirt competition and will now receive a donation from JPMorgan to donate to its chosen charity.
Many participants, like David Bird from Ernst & Young, find that the Corporate Challenge provides motivation to make exercise a “must do” in their daily schedules.
“It is important to fit in exercise even when you are working long hours,” Bird said. “This race is an added incentive to get me down to the gym and it has a different feel than other runs I have taken part in. There is something quite unique when all professionals from high-pressured jobs come together to compete for their company.”
And all entrants should remember the name Jonathan Hunt. He is an aspiring Olympic rower, and one of the Sports Aid athletes in attendance. If he is part of the 2012 Games, the Corporate Challenge participants can feel they played a role in getting him there.
“SportsAid keeps young athletes in sport for much longer and we're very grateful for the opportunity afforded by donations from events like this,” Hunt said.
Larry Slaughter (left) and Linford Christie (center) present a check to SportsAid representatives, including CEO Tim Lawler (right) in 2006.
JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge
helps emerging British sporting talent
Minister of Sport Caborn salutes
Corporate Challenge's beneficiary relationship with SportsAid
LONDON, January 29, 2007 – JPMorgan and the JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge® were praised by the British Parliament's Minister of Sport in a special event at the House of Commons on January 25.
As part of a salute on the 30th Anniversary of SportsAid – a not-for-profit organisation that provides financial assistance to Britain 's top amateur sportsmen and women -- Rt Hon Richard Caborn acknowledged the commitment of JPMorgan in advancing the development of young athletes.
“I'd like to say how much I recognise and appreciate the commitment of JPMorgan to support our talented athletes of the future through its association with SportsAid,” Minister Caborn said. “The JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge is a fantastic event which has gone from strength to strength and has supported more and more young, talented athletes when they need it the most. Long may it continue.”
Since 2004, SportsAid has been the primary beneficiary of the JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge. The relationship will continue at the 2007 Corporate Challenge – scheduled for Wednesday, July 11 and Thursday, July 12 at London 's Battersea Park – and through 2012, the year London hosts the Olympic Games.
Over 25,000 full-time workers will participate over the two nights of the Corporate Challenge and funds raised will be directed to the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) of SportsAid, and specifically an additional element of the scheme, Performance & Lifestyle Training (PALS).
The PALS programme aids young athletes in managing their time and monies while training. Thanks to the funds from the Corporate Challenge, this is a free benefit to the young SportsAid athletes.
Long-term commitment until 2012 is "huge plus" for SportsAid
“Our partnership with JPMorgan is core to our thinking. To be associated with such a superb event as the JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge, with its key city participation base, and to have a long-term commitment through to the London Games in 2012, is a huge plus for SportsAid,” Tim Lawler, CEO of SportAid, said. “Make no mistake, this will have a direct impact on supporting the next generation of British sporting talent at a key time.”
At the House of Commons event, several young athletes received their SportsAid grants from the Minister. They stood side-by-side with several members of British athletic royalty, including gold-medal Olympians Linford Christie (track and field), Darren Campbell (track and field) and double Olympic Silver medalist, Steve Backley (javelin).
In addition to JPMorgan, Minister Caborn also praised other partners from the commercial sector for their similar commitment to SportsAid, particularly Deloitte for its support of talented disabled sportsmen and women.
“Hearing how vital grants from SportsAid have been to those who have achieved Olympic medals and those striving for gold, it was obvious how important the Corporate Challenge donation to SportsAid has been,” said David Hitchcock, a Managing Director of the Investment Bank for JPMorgan. “To be recognised by the Minister as a significant supporter underlined the impact of our contribution and our commitment to 2012 to our young athletes.”
Online registration for the 21st annual JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge in London closed in mid-June. Please contact London@jpmorganchasecc.com or 020 7299 4164 with any questions.