Reebok's Dan Mazzocco wins the 3.07-mile JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge in Boston, breaking the tape held by Timothy Cahill, State Treasurer for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (left), and Scott Geller, JPMorgan Chase.
Massocco, Regan latest in line of Boston winners after impressive Corporate Challenge victories
Results | Photo Gallery
Delighted members of ERG surround Bill Rodgers, four-time winner of the Boston Marathon, during a pre-race team photo.
Note to runners:
Due to some unsafe running conditions at the Kenmore Square turnaround, the race distance for the Corporate Challenge was shaved from the traditional 3.5 miles to 3.07 miles. Follow this link to a pace calculator to determine what your time would have been over the 3.5-mile distance. For example: A person who ran 18:30 over the 3.07 distance, that time would translate to 21:05 over 3.5.
BOSTON, June 26, 2008 — Standing on the starting line, anxiously shifting his feet, Reebok's Dan Mazzocco winced when he heard one of the VIP speakers welcome the runners to “The City of Champions.”
It's not that Mazzocco argued with the description, well-earned by the Hub this decade with three New England Patriots' Super Bowl titles, a pair of Boston Red Sox World Series crowns, and this month's Boston Celtics NBA title. It's just that he is a Pittsburgh boy.
“I remember when Tom Brady beat the Steelers in the AFC Championship game, and it took me awhile to get over that,” Mazzocco, 24, said. “The longer I am up here, the more I am become comfortable with Boston sports teams.”
And now Mazzocco has something in common with them. He is a champion, too.
The product tester from Reebok — yes, he gets paid to try out running shoes — captured the men's title at the 25th annual JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge. A first-time entrant, he bested 31-year-old Ryan Carrara of Raytheon, by 20 seconds to win the title. Carrara is a multiple-time winner at this event, and is one of the more decorated participants in Corporate Challenge Series history.
The two dueled over a shortened, 3.07-mile course, with Mazzocco breaking the tape in 14:37. The trimming of the race distance was due to some unsafe running conditions due to construction at the Kenmore Square turnaround.
One person who wasn't complaining about the shorter course was Catherine Regan of Environmental Resources Management. In fact, post-race she wore a huge smile and carried a Tiffany box. Inside was her award for being the first-place woman.
“I was a miler and 800 meter runner at Cornell,” Regan said, noting she graduated from the Ivy League school in 2000. “This distance was much better for me.”
Regan had finished as high as fourth in past Corporate Challenge appearances, and took it out confidently this time, knowing she had the leg turn and fitness to handle the course. She topped Melissa Sherman of CSN Stores by 21 seconds, logging a 16:59 winning time.
“But she was coming at the end,” Regan laughed. “Thanks for dropping the distance.”
And there was certainly no drop in interest or energy in the event. The Corporate Challenge's annual visit to the Freedom Trail resulted in a 14th consecutive sell-out — 12,000 runners and walkers from 633 companies. And everyone made a difference in the lives of at-risk Boston city children as the JPMorgan Chase Foundation made a donation for each entry to Camp Harbor View.
“We love hosting this event, it absolutely demonstrates our commitment to the Boston market,” said Jon Goplerud, Senior Vice President for JPMorgan Chase. “It definitely transcends our values and how we perceive this marketplace.”
Women's champion Catherine Regan breaks the tape held by Colleen Crowley of race beneficiary Camp Harbor View.
Companies came from throughout New England to participate, covered the out-and-back Commonwealth Avenue course, then adjourned to dozens of Back Bay watering holes and restaurants to celebrate.
“We're based in the suburbs of Westwood and Canton, so it's great to get downtown for this,” said Michal Fandel of LoJack. “We have so many people from so many departments participating, and we all get to spend time together.”
Fandel, as company captain, registered 34 LoJack employees. A women's leadership ground at LoJack, which Fandel is a part of, led the charge. And they were rewarded for their efforts, securing a pre-race team photo with four-time Boston Marathon champion Bill Rodgers.
“It was an honor to meet him,” said Fandel.
Welch's brought 51 entrants to the Boston Common, including one dressed in costume as a jar of grape jelly.
“We wanted to stay true to the equity of the company, which is purple grapes,” said company captain Rick Skoglund. “The race is about health and our company is all about health — eating the right things, drinking the right things. This race and Welch's ties in beautifully.”
Just as creative were the three winning companies in the creative T-Shirt competition. Harvard Clinical Research Institute (HCRI), Nitsch Engineering and Slade Gorton & Co. Each company will receive $500 to donate to the charity of its choice, and HCRI has already announced it will match that figure and donate the funds to the Cam Neely Foundation.
Timothy Cahill, State Treasurer for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, was among the VIP participants on the night at an event that mixed the titans of commerce with camaraderie and competition. The Corporate Challenge has been held each year in Boston since 1984, and it is the sixth sell-out event of the 2008 JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge Series, joining Johannesburg, Singapore, Chicago, Frankfurt and New York.
Lojack Corporation is excited to have Bill Rodgers in its team photo.