BioMarin Pharmaceutical poses for a group photo after winning one of the T-shirt contest design awards at the 2008 JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge in San Francisco. BioMarin used the $500 donation to support the National MPS Society.
Sports Basement gathering becoming
classic race-day finish in San Francisco
Registration | Hospitality
SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 4, 2009 — Signs that the JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge® is much more than just a race surface in different ways in the 12 cities and five continents that host events in the world's largest corporate running series.
In Buffalo, a sea of almost 300 corporate tents rises annually in picturesque Delaware Park. In Johannesburg, companies gather on the lower cricket pitch at the famed Wanderers Club to enjoy a post-race concert by a popular South African rock band. The race finish and post-race party in Singapore this past May was in the Formula One “pit road.” And in San Francisco, companies head to the Sports Basement for a post-race buffet and awards ceremony that has become a superb way to warm up from the chilly bayside temperatures and end a day of fitness and out-of-the-office camaraderie.
Runners finish against the backdrop of the Golden Gate Bridge (top). Then, companies such as Gilead Sciences (above) head to the nearby Sports Basement for the post-race party.
“The post-race party provides our team members with an opportunity to celebrate their victories together and with other Bay Area teams,” said Cora Versaggi, company captain of BioMarin Pharmaceutical. “Whether it was finishing the race in a specific amount of time, or just finishing the race, period, we can all celebrate our individual and collective accomplishment.”
Another opportunity to do just that is rapidly approaching in San Francisco. The 25th running of the 3.5-mile team road race will be held on Wednesday, September 16 with a 6:45 p.m. race start at beautiful Crissy Field on The Presidio. Runner registration remains open until Wednesday, Sept. 9 for an event that has seen entries spike up 250 percent since 2003.
And, of course, after this year's race, leading companies such as BioMarin once again will head to the post-race party at the nearby Sports Basement. There is still time for your company to be a part of the post-race fun and camaraderie this year. Reservations for the post-race hospitality that will feature dinner by Amici's East Coast Pizzeria, one of the Bay Area's best pizzerias, remain open until Sept. 11.
Last year's Corporate Challenge in San Francisco attracted a site-record 5,693 runners and walkers from 259 companies. For many of those companies, the Corporate Challenge offers a well-rounded experience that makes the event something to look forward to each September in San Francisco. BioMarin is a classic example.
“This will be our fourth year participating in the event,” said Versaggi, Benefits Supervisor in BioMarin's Human Resources department. “Last year we were one of three winners of the t-shirt design contest and donated the $500 winnings to The National MPS Society. The National MPS Society is a patient advocacy group that provides support to MPS patients and their families. MPS (mucopolysaccharidoses) diseases are a family of serious rare diseases that cause progressively debilitating and commonly fatal medical complications in children and young adults. BioMarin manufactures two products known as enzyme replacement therapies for MPS patients (one for MPS I and the other for MPS VI).
“As a biopharmaceutical company, we are committed to promoting healthy lifestyles, wellness and work life balance for our employees,” Versaggi added. “This event combines all of those: from the physical activity and fitness that stems from training for the event, to meeting colleagues in other departments and training together, employees are able to see a difference in how they feel about themselves and about the support and encouragement they receive from BioMarin.”
Other companies that make their way to the Sports Basement after the race may have different types of victories to celebrate. For example, last year, Autodesk used the post-race party to toast a third-place finish by its Men's Team, a fourth-place effort by its Women's team, and a top-10 time of 17:54 by its leading runner, Ben Turman. With a team of 84 entries for 2009, Autodesk will be back in force — both at the race and the post-race party.
But, fast, slow or in-between, companies have discovered that the post-race party at the Sports Basement is a great way to end their day at the Corporate Challenge.