Fast friends are Brooke Wells (2923) and Lindsey Maclise (1705), who finished first and second in the 2008 JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge in San Francisco.
Fast friends, fast times help San Francisco
grow again on a beautiful night for racing
Results | Photo Gallery
Mike Spence wins his 5th JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge title, including two at San Francisco. Photos by Rocky Arroyo.
SAN FRANCISCO, September 17, 2008 — The attraction for the JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge in San Francisco spreads across the United States — quite literally.
For the second time in three years, the men's individual winner at breathtaking Crissy Field was Mike Spence, a Vice President for International Business Research in Princeton, New Jersey. He and three colleagues flew in to the Bay Area for sales calls and fast times.
“We entered the Corporate Challenge annually when it was in Morristown (New Jersey ),” said Spence, a three-time victor at that fallen-away Series event. “Running is very important at our company. On our wall calendar — along with conferences and client meetings — we have 5K's and 10K's all throughout the running season. The Corporate Challenge has been the cornerstone of our running for years and we just can't let it go.”
Spence, a cross country and track star at Princeton University in the late 90's, put forth a passionate effort in the 24th running of this Bay Area team race. His time of 16:43 bested Google's Crosby Freeman by nine seconds. Defending champion Konrad Knutsen of NAI BT Commercial was a fairly distant third in 17:26.
The race that Spence experienced this time was far different than his last appearance on The Presidio, in 2006. That race drew 4,006 participants from 182 companies. This year, a total of 5,693 runners and walkers from 259 companies took part in absolutely pristine conditions. The event has spiked up 250-percent since attracting 2,169 in 2003.
It's easy to see why. With the Golden Gate Bridge and the twinkling lights of downtown San Francisco serving as a backdrop, this is one of the most beautiful sites in the Corporate Challenge Series. The setting, competition and fabulous post-race party (at the nearby Sports Basement facility) has helped draw some of the finest companies in Northern California — Google, the Gap, Lucasfilm, Genentech, Williams Sonoma, VMware, just to name a few.
The Golden Gate Bridge is a stunning backdrop for runners at Crissy Field.
And it's also attracting top caliber local talent — including those from the same address.
Brooke Wells of AdBrite and Lindsey Maclise of Forell/Elesesser Engineers are roommates and training partners. On this night, they were rivals.
“Lindsey ran a really hard race on Sunday, and said she was just going to go out and jog tonight,” Wells, a former Cal-Berkeley runner. “But I know she is real competitive. When I came around the first time and I saw her in close second-place, I kicked it in.”
Wells' winning time was an impressive 19:41, with Maclise clocking 20:20. The winner had extra motivation after speaking to one of her Adidas training teammates.
“Katy Hollbacher (representing Build It Green) won here the last two years, but she recently got hurt in a bike accident,” Wells said. “She told me to go out there and represent for her.”
Wells and Spence received their first-place awards from the evening's special guest, Ironman athlete and Emmy-award winning weather anchor Roberta Gonzales of CBS5.
Running with some extra energy also was the women's MSE champion, Sandy Hynes of Esurance. Her cheering section included her infant daughter, Hayley.
“When I competed last year, I was pregnant with Hayley,” Hynes said. “This year my baby is with my husband cheering me in. This was very exciting.”
Hynes also was thrilled that 41 of her Esurance colleagues were on the race course, the culmination of a year of training.
“One of the things we are doing this year is a lot of wellness initiatives,” Hynes said. “We added a program where employees trained specifically for the Corporate Challenge. We hired a coach to work with us, and it all paid off.”
Philippa Norman (527) is one of 388 participants to finish for Genentech, as she comes home just ahead of Dusty Slowik of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners.
The burgeoning crowd was not only doing good physically, but also giving back to the community. The JPMorgan Chase Foundation made a donation for each entry to the YMCA of San Francisco's Claire Lilienthal Learning Academy. YMCA President & CEO Chuck Collins was on hand to accept the donation.
It was a conscientious gathering as well, with more than 2,000 of the participants taking advantage of green diesel shuttle bus transportation to Crissy Field provided by JPMorgan Chase. This was part of the Corporate Challenge's Teaming Up For A Greener Tomorrow initiative.
Genentech, with 388 entrants, earned the Largest Participation Award. BioMarin Pharmaceutical, FusionStorm and StubHub brought flair, capturing the creative T-Shirt contest, each earning a $500 donation to the charity of their choice.
San Francisco was the final event of the 2008 JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge regular season. The Series drew a record 240,000 participants this year and now the best of the best will square off in the Corporate Challenge Championship, October 4 in New York City.