Standing out in a sold-out field of runners, Dan Wakabayashi of VistaPrint raises his arms as he starts the JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge in Boston.
Health-minded Boston-area companies
continue popular tradition in The Hub
Results | Photo Gallery
John Mortimer of Boston College successfully defends his Male title, breaking the tape held by Jamie Oppedisano, Vice President, Investment Back JPMorgan, while race spokesperson Bill Rodgers cheers.
BOSTON, June 28, 2007 – Companies from throughout New England were part of a sold-out crowd of 12,000 at the 24th annual JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge in The Hub, including Fairchild Semiconductor, who brought a team down from South Portland, Maine.
Fairchild practically insists upon fitness in the workplace. It has a 10,000 square foot fitness center with dozens of cardio machines, more than three tons of free weights and 25 pieces of weight-training equipment. Yoga, pilates, spin and specialized sports conditioning are also offered. You could say that the Fairchild employees were more than poised to run PR's at the Corporate Challenge.
“I would say that all of our participants have succeeded in attaining personal goals,” said Fairchild company captain Jill Sullivan. “The company we work for supports our effort of health promotion and wellness and the Corporate Challenge is a fun atmosphere.”
The lure of the Corporate Challenge is unmistakable to health-minded organizations. This year's 3.5-mile race reached capacity for the 13th consecutive year, with 578 different companies taking part. All had their own ambitions.
“I think my colleagues at Boston College care more about me winning this race than how I do recruiting,” said John Mortimer, the cross country/track & field coach at BC. He earned the men's overall title in an impressive 17:16, besting Jeff Caron of CDM by six seconds.
While Mortimer was focused on the front of the pack, Lisa Anderson of VistaPrint had her eyes on a different type of recruitment.
“We know that the Corporate Challenge has many dedicated and intelligent professionals running in it,” Anderson, a Human Resources specialist at VistaPrint, noted. “So if we catch the eye and interest of a few of them to be interested in employment with VistaPrint it's a win-win situation.”
Gerry Sher of the Boston Herald starts his run.
VistaPrint has had a great year, being named one of the “Best Places to Work in Greater Boston” by the Boston Business Journal as well as securing a spot in the prestigious Boston Globe 100.
“We have a great team of employees who enjoy mental and physical challenges,” Anderson said. “The Corporate Challenge is just a great way to have some fun outside of the office with friends and colleagues.”
The sold-out crowd had luck on its side as well. Meteorologists warned all day of dangerous thunderstorms in Greater Boston, but the only weather at the 7:30 race time was a cooling breeze. That allowed for outstanding racing conditions and Molly Taber of Pioneer Investments took advantage, racing home first in the women's division with a strong time of 19:52. She comfortably beat runner-up Katie Richards of Intuit ( 20:31 ) and Carly Graytock of Immunogen ( 20:32 ).
Taber is a two-time Corporate Challenge champ, having earned the 2002 Boston crowd in 19:33 when she was employed by State Street Research. She is a member of the powerful Merrimack Valley Striders running club and qualified for the 2004 Olympic Marathon Trials.
Every participant was a winner, as the JPMorgan Chase Foundation made a donation for each entry to the Waterfront Performing Arts Series, part of the more than $500,000 JPMorgan Chase will donate in Corporate Challenge cities. And every participant also received the tangible benefit of a quality workout.
“Our participation is facilitated through the Employee Activities Committee, which was formed to help employees achieve better work/life balance while providing opportunities for getting to know their colleagues,” offered Chris Gibson, company captain for Draper Lab, across the Charles in Cambridge. “This event is a great way to help form and feed the informal networks within our company that are critical to our success as a business.”
There were some quick bosses on hand, also, as Patrick Stumbras of Beecher Carlson and Kristin McEachern of The Sports Club LA won the men's and women's Most Senior Executive Executive category. Tiffany awards were also presented to three creative t-shirt winners – Cardinal Health, Cross Country Automotive Services, and The Monument Group.
With the capacity crowd in Boston, the 2007 JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge has achieved “sold-out” status in Singapore, Johannesburg, New York and Boston, along with record crowds in Chicago and Rochester. The Series is on track to register more than 225,000, the most in its 31-year history.