Poendree Reddy (5427) of Investec Capital Markets leads the cheers as 12,395 participants start the 8th annual J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge on a cool, dry night at Johannesburg's famed Wanderers Club. Photos:
Peter Morey Photographic
Fast times, defending champion highlight
8th Corporate Challenge in Johannesburg
Kristin O'Sullivan of LEAP Science and Maths School, poses with John Coulter, J.P. Morgan CEO for Sub-Saharan Africa (right) and two students at the school, which was the race beneficiary.
JOHANNESBURG, March 3, 2011 — Catherine Skosana was the best female corporate runner in the world last year, earning the women’s individual title at the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge Championship at the Wanderers Club.
She returned on this night to successfully defend her home turf.
Skosana, running for Transnet Rail Engineering, broke the women’s finish line tape in 20:19 at the 8th annual J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge in Johannesburg. Her winning time was just one second off the event record of 20:18, set by Tebogo Masehla of Transnet in 2009.
“I am so happy to have won for Transnet Rail Engineering,” Skosana said. “(The 5.6km race course) is a tough route with a lot of hills, but I am familiar with it, having won here three times and the Championship. The pace was fast, but I knew I would be first home.”
Skosana easily outdistanced her Transnet colleague, Violet Raseboya, who posted a 20:51. Takalane Nthulane, also of Transnet, was third in 22:20.
On the men’s side, Sibusiso Nzima of Bolt & Tool successfully defended his Johannesburg men’s title, winning in 16:50. That is a full 30 seconds faster than his first-place clocking of 17:20 in 2010 and the second-fastest men’s time in this race’s history, trailing only the sizzling 16:27 turned in by Hermans Pedi of Transwerk in 2004.
“I am thrilled with the result as I managed to improve my time,” Nzima said. “For Bolt & Tool this is special. We are a small company and this creates awareness for us.”
Catherine Skosana and Sibusiso Nzima each display an Empyreal Recycled Award, a beautiful hand-made trophy created from 100-percent recycled glass, as part of the JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge’s Teaming Up For A Greener Tomorrow initiative.
Oleboge Masire of Goldfields (17:00) and Samuel Sagoaba of Transnet (17:14) finished second and third on a comfortably cool, dry night that was perfect for racing.
For their victories, Skosana and Nzima received an Empyreal Recycled Award, a beautiful hand-made trophy created from 100-percent recycled glass, as part of the JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge’s Teaming Up For A Greener Tomorrow initiative.
The idyllic conditions and past success of this event helped draw a capacity crowd of 12,395 entrants from 348 companies. After they all did something good for their physical fitness, they partied into the night in hundreds of hospitality marquees throughout the two cricket ovals at the Wanderers Club. The popular South African band Flash Republic provided an entertaining concert.
The capacity crowd was running for the LEAP Science and Maths School, a collection of four independent high schools in Cape Town and Johannesburg serving the specific communities of Langa, Gugulethu, Alexandra and, its more recent addition, Diepsloot.
LEAP's learners come from specific communities served by each school and 99 percent of LEAP's 555 learners are black South Africans from economically disadvantaged households.
“The J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge — with its emphasis on excellence, teamwork, and service to others — reflects the LEAP aim to nurture these same values in senior secondary school learners from South African disadvantaged communities,” said John Gilmour, Founder and Executive Director of LEAP Science and Maths School. “Quality education is a global challenge that cannot fail to benefit from worldwide collaboration and partnerships such as this one. We thank J.P. Morgan for putting their trust in us and our work.”
John Coulter, J.P. Morgan CEO for Sub-Saharan Africa, felt the Corporate Challenge participants drew inspiration from LEAP.
“Champions do not become champions by winning the event, but in the commitment in preparing for and participating in the event,” Coulter said. “Participants of the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge are an inspiration to the corporate community. We hope that with our support for LEAP, future corporate champions will emerge.”
There was plenty of spirit at the 8th annual J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge in Johannesburg. In top photo, e.tv personality Lee-Roy Wright points to the winning T-shirt design from Bayport Financial Services which said: "I actually asked for a raise, but my boss heard race." In the lower left photo, Tshego Malinga of Business Day joins John Coulter in congratulating FirstRand for its Teaming Up For a Greener Tomorrow winning entry. In the lower right photo, Wendy Haechler (7252) and two of her colleagues start the race with paper skirts, smiles and purple hair.
There was keen competition among graphic designers, and Bayport Financial Services and FirstRand were named the winners in the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge T-Shirt contest.
Bayport won the creative division of the contest, building its design around a clever phrase â€“ “I actually asked for a raise, but my boss heard race.” FirstRand won the Teaming Up For a Greener Tomorrow division with a design that encouraged people to lighten their carbon footprints by choosing running as a mode of transportation.
Among the sold-out crowd of companies were seven large corporations that fielded teams of 250 entrants or more, including KPMG (411 total participants); ABSA Capital (340); Liberty Life (321); Deloitte (266); Anglogold Ashanti (261); Rand Merchant Park (259); and Ernst & Young (250).
The JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge Series next visits Singapore on Thursday, April 21. On that same date and site, the 28th annual J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge Championship â€“ featuring the top teams from all 12 Corporate Challenge cities â€“ will be contested.