It was a celebratory kind of night in a historic city as a capacity crowd enjoyed ideal running conditions at the 35th J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge in Boston.

It was the Summer Solstice – the longest night of the year – and the weather was absolutely perfect.  Who wants to stay cooped up indoors in such conditions?

Certainly not the sold-out crowd of 8,840 runners and walkers for 343 companies that participated in the 35th J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge in Boston.  It was the 24th straight year the event has reached a complete capacity.

“We have a long tradition of participating in the Corporate Challenge,” said Scott Stubbs, team captain for Boston Consulting Group. “It is one of the only opportunities we have each year to bring our consulting and corporate staff together to compete and celebrate.  J.P. Morgan puts on a great event each year and we are proud to have a seat at the table in this important event.”

There was additional pageantry on this night, as Boston also served as host for the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge Championship, featuring the first-place men’s, women’s and mixed teams from all 13 cities and seven countries in the global Corporate Challenge Series.  Those runners took off five minutes before the Boston race.  It was the first time the Championship had been conducted in Beantown.

Kathryn Ahern, team captain for HubSpot, can attest to the popularity of the Boston Corporate Challenge, and its appeal within the hallways of her office.

“Hubspotters love to engage and participate in the community,” Ahern said. “The J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge is an event we look forward to each year and our team fills up within minutes of its announcement.”

Building relationships in the office is one of the motivations behind the registration of Putnam Investments, according to team captain Thomas Rankin.

“Putnam fields such a large team as a way to bring employees together across all different departments,” Rankin said. “Names on emails and chats can only go so far when building a working relationship.  The Corporate Challenge allows us to gather everyone together for a night where we can all meet as people.”

Rankin admits he doesn’t have to sell the Corporate Challenge hard at Putnam.  Participation has become a tradition at the firm.

“We post on our intranet homepage that the signup for the Corporate Challenge has begun but, to be honest, we never need it,” Rankin said. “Our race slots consistently fill up in just a few days.  People genuinely enjoy it and they tend to come back every year.  Many of them tell friends who then also sign up.”

The word of mouth also attracts some of the finest runners in the New England region, and two of them broke the Charles Street tape.

Jordan Donnelly, representing Puma, earned the men’s division title with a winning time of 17:40 (5:02 pace on the 3.5-mile course).  He bested long-time standout Carl Hartford of Raytheon (17:55) and Raymond Meijer of Investor Group Services (18:13).

On the women’s side, Kyle Feldman made her employer Cove Hill Partners proud by crossing first in 20:39 (5:53 pace).  The runner-up was Caitlin Fahey of Fidelity (21:03) with Nicole Hastings of Monotype placing third in 21:36.

For the second consecutive year at this Back Bay event, The Every Child Fund at Boston Children’s Hospital was the beneficiary. Funds provided to The Every Child Fund will help propel research and help provide compassionate care to every family who comes through the doors of Boston Children’s Hospital, easing their burden and covering services insurance won’t pay for.

J.P. Morgan will donate on behalf of all Corporate Challenge entrants to The Every Child Fund, part of the more than $750,000 that will be donated throughout the 2018 J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge Series.

After a short break to enjoy the onset of summer in the Northern hemisphere, the 42nd year of the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge Series moves across the Atlantic for two nights of racing and partying in London, July 4-5.