Team Rockport got into the running spirit with their own treadmill on site on the Boston Common for the 27th J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge.
Nash regains that winning feeling
in front of another sold-out Boston crowd
Results | Photo Gallery
In the top photo, Women's champion Melissa Nash of Fidelity Investments breaks the finish line tape held by Dani Tschuemperlin of Rockport (left) and Massachusetts State Treasurer Tim Cahill. In the lower photo, Nate Krah of serveboston.org breaks the tape held by Cahill (right) and Marc White of J.P. Morgan. (Photos: Aynsley Floyd)
BOSTON, June 24, 2010 – Melissa Nash was an exceptional cross country runner at Marshfield High School, on the South Shore of Massachusetts. She matriculated to Bentley University in Waltham, and earned all-conference honors in the 5,000 meters.
But when she graduated in the spring of 2009, Nash’s focus shifted from the roads to the office.
“I was proud to be hired as a financial analyst at Fidelity,” she said, “and I was mentally exhausted from the grind of competitive running in college. So I just threw all of my energy into my work and kind of forgot about racing.”
Well, Nash didn’t forget entirely. She noticed when Fidelity won the women’s division of the 2009 J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge in Boston and earned a trip to Johannesburg for the JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge Championship.
“I knew about that, thought it was really cool that they could run in South Africa, and immediately pointed toward running in this race,” Nash said. “This was my first race in 13 months.”
And a race well run. Nash proved the lay-off did not diminish her ability as she covered the 3.5-mile Back Bay course in 20:00 to win the individual women’s title at the 27th annual J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge. She defeated Marian Johnson of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement by a healthy 45 seconds (20:45). Fidelity colleague Kaitlin Anelauskas was third in 20:56.
With numbers 1 and 3 in the women’s division, it looks like Fidelity has the inside track to earn a trip to the next Championship, to be held next spring in Singapore.
“That would be pretty special,” Nash said. “I guess I better get back into racing after a performance like this.”
The men’s champion was also a first-time Corporate Challenge winner. Nate Krah, a 2008 Bowdoin College graduate, ran for serveboston.org and broke the tape in 17:35. He outkicked Andrew Gardiner of Procter & Gamble, who ran 17:39. Corporate Challenge veteran star Ryan Carrara of Raytheon was a solid third in 17:54.
Krah’s work at serveboston.org involves connecting people to work with or contribute to not-for-profit organizations that match their core values. While doing that, he also is training mightily to become one of the best marathoners in the northeast.
“I ran my first marathon in New York City (last fall) and ran a 2:40,” he said. “I was not particularly happy with that time, but I did it just to qualify for Boston.”
At the Boston Marathon in April, Krah exploded onto the scene. His 2:25 made him the 20th U.S. finisher in the race, and the number one from Massachusetts. And, even though Krah says he doesn’t like short distance races, he is now the best corporate runner in the Bay State.
But there is one title that Krah covets even more – Doctor.
“I’ve applied to 22 medical schools,” he said. “It’s a little stressful. I would say my first choice is Brown, but any would be fine. That’s the most important thing to me now.”
Massachusetts State Treasurer Tim Cahill and his colleagues from the State Treasurer's Office gather for a pre-race photo at Boston Common.
Nash and Krah were the fastest among a sold-out crowd of 12,000 runners and walkers from 708 companies. It was the 16th consecutive year the event has reached full capacity and it benefitted Camp Harbor View.
The throngs benefitted from a break in the weather. The day dawned hot and humid, with temperatures in the low 90’s just three hours before race. But forecast rain came through fast and hard, cooling off the course. A much more friendly sun beamed down on the participants for the 7:15 p.m. start.
Massachusetts State Treasurer Tim Cahill served as the official starter for the race and his office had 28 employees on the starting line. An eclectic roster of companies from four New England states took part, with the eight largest in terms of entries being: Fidelity (243 entries); J.P. Morgan (170); Eaton Vance (116); Trip Advisor Media Network (116); Novartis (90); Pegasystems (90); Putnam Investments (90); Brown Brothers Harriman (89).
Two companies were judged to be the most creative. Boston Private Bank and Trust won the “Most Creative” t-shirt contest while HDR, Inc. earned the “Teaming Up For A Greener Tomorrow” t-shirt prize. Both will receive $1,000 from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation to donate to the charity of their choice.
(For comments on JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge Series features, or suggestions for feature stories, please contact Alan Tieuli at firstname.lastname@example.org)