Statoil part of record-setting crowd
Statoil gathers for a team photo in Battersea Park before the start of the 2013 J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge.
at 28th Corporate Challenge in London
|FAST FACTS ABOUT LONDON
28th J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge, a 5.6km run/walk for the corporate community.
9-10 July, with race starts at approximately 6:52 p.m. on 9 July and 6:45 p.m. on 10 July.
||The two nights have both achieved sold-out status with a total crowd of 29,526 participants from 741 companies, records for London.
|Largest companies participating:
||WEDNESDAY: PwC (673 entrants); Credit Suisse ( 454); UBS (382); Citi (354); Ernst & Young (300).
THURSDAY: HSBC (851); Goldman Sachs (700); Morgan Stanley (501); Bank of America Merrill Lynch (458); BNP Paribas (452).
WaterAid, which provides safe water, improved sanitation and hygiene education to the poorest people in 27 countries in Africa, Asia, the Pacific Region and Central America. Corporate Challenge participants can also contribute through an optional fundraising initiative
|2013 team champions:
Men: Legal & General; Women: AXA UK; Mixed: BSKYB.
San Francisco, Sept. 17.
LONDON, July 3, 2014 — When Statoil goes to the starting line at Battersea Park next week for the second of two nights of racing in the 2014 J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge®, it will be part of the largest crowd in the history of the London event.
The 28th running of the Corporate Challenge in Battersea Park is scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, July 9-10, with race starts at approximately 6:52 p.m. on 9 July and 6:45 p.m. on 10 July. The two nights have both achieved sold-out status with a total crowd of 29,526 participants from 741 companies. This breaks London’s previous record for entrants (27,418 in 2011) and companies (635 in 2007).
And, London will make another bit of history in 2014. On 9 July it will host the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge Championship, which features the first-place Men’s, Women’s and Mixed teams from the Series’13 cities and seven countries in 2013. The 31st running of the Series Championship will mark the first time the international event has been held in Europe. The Championship will start at sharply at 6:45 p.m. on Wednesday, 9 July. (See Championship preview stories.)
Statoil’s participation in the record-setting London event is fitting since the international energy company has experienced the rise in interest in the Corporate Challenge in London firsthand.
“This is the tenth consecutive year that Statoil has participated in the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge,” said company captain Steven Bellerby, a marathoner and triathlete who first convinced Statoil to enter a team in 2004.
“Since then I have been the company captain on each occasion,” Bellerby said. “When we first participated back in 2004 I remember the event was much more low-key in terms of participation, and we had approximately 30 runners who took part with no race hospitality after the event. Over the years, through the promotion of fitness in the work place and better internal promotion, we have made this a major event in the calendar.”
Statoil’s growth in participation at London not only mirrors the growth of the event in Battersea Park, but it reflects the upward surge in interest in the Corporate Challenge around the world as well.
Statoil's Paolo Natali wins the Men's individual title on a rainy night of racing at London in 2012 with a time of 17:41. Natali finished second last year in 17:15.
The Corporate Challenge began modestly in New York in 1977 when 200 runners from 50 companies gathered in Central Park for its inaugural running. Now, 38 years later, the Corporate Challenge has become a global series with events on five continents that are projected to attract more than 270,000 participants this year, which would break last year’s all-time Series attendance mark of 262,311.
Through it all, the Corporate Challenge’s goals remain the same — promoting fitness and camaraderie in the workplace. Those goals resonate with companies such as Statoil, which is headquartered in Stavanger, Norway, and has approximately 23,000 employees worldwide.
“The Corporate Challenge has in general always been a popular event at Statoil and appeals to all colleagues on a variety of levels,” said Bellerby. “I think the camaraderie is a very positive element and whilst the focus is clearly on taking part, we do perform a prize-giving presentation after the event with prizes such as keenest runner to the fastest male and female.”
Employee health/fitness, of course, is also a major reason Statoil participates in the Corporate Challenge. The event not only ties in well with the company’s employee-health initiatives, but it also has created a synergy that has helped Statoil employees incorporate fitness into their lives.
“The Corporate Challenge does tie in with other initiatives we have held over previous years to promote fitness and health in the work place,” said Bellerby. “These include a global “Energiser challenge” which prompted Statoil employees across all our locations to take part in physical activity and help encourage others.
Statoil entrants warm up with an instructor from Nuffield Health before the 2013 J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge in Battersea Park.
“Last year, we were able to get the active involvement of our local gym (Nuffield Health) during the run up to the event, where employees were able to get expert advice on diet and nutrition as well as exercise tips that would help them prepare for the event,” Bellerby added. “On the actual event day, we took several gym instructors to Battersea Park who did a great job in warming up runners prior to the event. I can honestly say by creating this kind of synergy between the gym and the Corporate Challenge, many employees have now adopted a much more active lifestyle either by joining a gym or taking part in the London Park runs to adopt a more active lifestyle.”
Statoil is planning to do the same thing again with Nuffield this year, as well as hosting a themed lunch before the event.
It all leaves a positive impression on Statoil employees, and even on its long-time company captain.
“I would like to wish all runners who are taking part for Statoil this year every success, and hope they achieve their goals,” said Bellerby. “I look forward to being the company captain for many years to come.”