2006 moments: Vivian Tang (top photo) breaks the tape held by Vikram Khanna, Associate Editor for The Business Times, to win by 57 seconds. A festive gathering of 11,403 participated. In bottom left photo, Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister of Community Development, Youth and Sports (left) and Philip Lee, Country Manager for JPMorgan Singapore, present award to male champion Nabin Kumar Rai.
Capacity field of 11,403 blooms
in Singapore despite April showers
Tang takes 3rd title, Gurkhas run strong
SINGAPORE, April 26, 2006 – They responded to this challenge in record numbers and a little rain was not going to scare away the fit, fun-loving Singapore corporate community.
The third annual JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge® in Singapore attracted a capacity crowd of 11,430 participants from 298 companies, an increase of over 20-percent from the 2005 gathering. This island nation is quite used to April showers, so they were all there in force for the 6 p.m. start despite a persistent mist.
“This brings everyone in the company together,” said Sy Chieh Lee, who served as company captain for the 80-person Singapore Technologies Engineering team. “We had all our different groups competing and we wouldn't miss it (even with the rain).”
Not to say there were not several moments of trepidation earlier in the day. As the race coordinators put the final, spiffy touches on the Padang staging area, a Category 1 warning for lightning was announced and the rains were quite heavy. But as the crowds showed up, the nasty weather passed as if on cue.
“This is such an enthusiastic event,” noted Wei Shiung Lin of the United Overseas Bank. “This is the third year we have participated and we keep seeing more and more staffing coming on. We have nearly 150 people with us and we train as a company for the race. It's a great experience.”
Dozens of hospitality marquees ringed the Padang, with many companies choosing to serve sumptuous food and make this an all-inclusive outing for employees. But before the post-race party there was keen competition.
Gurkha Contingent is strong once again with 4 of top 5
Nabin Kumar Rai, representing the Gurkha Contingent of the Singapore Police Force, was the first male to cross the finish line. He covered the 5.6-kilmometre (3.5-mile) course in 18:17, finishing just ahead of Killian Pattwell of PriceWaterhouseCoopers, who logged a solid 18:36.
Kumar Rai finished fourth here last year and qualified with his Gurkha teammates for the JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge Championship in New York, where he placed a respectable 35 th overall. With four of the top five men's finishers on this night being Gurkhas, he will likely have an opportunity to improve his placement at the 2006 Championship on October 7.
A familiar, smiling face broke the women's finishing tape. Vivian Tang of CIMB-GK Securities earned her third consecutive JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge title in Singapore, finishing in 21:17. She was 57 seconds faster than Mika Kume of Ernst & Young.
“It was a little slippery out there, but nothing too bad and I'm very proud to defend my title,” said Tang. “This is a race to be proud of.”
Members of International Enterprise Singapore, which had a strong turnout of 148 participants, pose for a pre-race photo.
The Singapore government indeed is proud to host the Corporate Challenge and Kumar Rai and Tang were saluted on the post-race awards stage by the event's Guest of Honour, Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan, the Minister of Community Development, Youth and Sports. “This is important to the business image of Singapore,” said Dr. Balakrishnan, “and we have to make sure that this event continues.”
Dr. Balakrishnan also presented the awards to the two Most Senior Executive winners – Gerard Hanssen of the Singapore Island Country Club ( 21:09 ) and Jennifer Sim of Bank Sarasin-RABO (36:50). For Hanssen, it was the culmination of an emotionally draining week.
“Last Friday my father passed away, on Monday I buried him, and tonight I dedicate my win to him,” said Hanssen.
Hanssen competed in 2005 for The British Club and he was lined up at the starting line side-by-side with his new and old teammates.
“This event works well as a bonding event for my new team, but I am friends with my old team, but I want to beat them!” he said with a smile.
Asian Civilisations Museum receives JPMorgan donation
For the third consecutive year, the Corporate Challenge served as a benefit for the Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM). JPMorgan made a donation for each entry to the Museum's Children's Learning Corners and Dr. Kenson Kwok, director of the ACM, was on hand to accept the donation.
“We have record numbers tonight and we are saying to the world that Singapore can host such spectacular events. Our Senior Managers are thrilled to be able to showcase JPMorgan on such a great stage tonight, and we are pleased once again to be working with our beneficiary, the Asian Civilisations Museum,” said Philip Lee, Country Manager for JPMorgan Singapore and host of the Corporate Challenge.
Clearly three companies that appreciated the artistic nature of the JPMorgan donation were the winners of the T-Shirt competition. Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing, KPMG, and SAP Asia designed the most creative team uniforms and will each receive a SGD $500 donation from JPMorgan to designate in their name to a charity of their choice.
Two JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge events have been held to date in calendar year 2006 and both have sold out, with Johannesburg reaching capacity on March 2. Several other events in the 2006 Series – including Chicago, Frankfurt, New York and Boston – are at or nearing capacity quickly and the Series is on target to again top 200,000 participants.
“We love it because it represents balance in your life,” said Debbie Lee, company captain for KPMG.