Second night of racing brings
Members of the team from Bank of America/Merrill Lynch gather for a pre-race photo on the second night of racing at the 2011 J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge in London. The team had 516 members, one of the largest gatherings in the capacity crowd of 13,000 runners and walkers. Photos: Ingrid Abery.
together companies and couples
The first couple of Corpoate Challenge running made the second night of racing at the 2011 London J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge a family showcase. In the top photo, Emily Wicks wins the women's title in 19:16. Moments earlier, husband Phil won the men's title in 16:37.
LONDON, July 7, 2011 — This marked the 18th J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge for Gareth Fitzgerald, and it has become a labor of love.
“The process of registering a team of 516 is more considerable that you would expect,” Fitzgerald, the company captain for Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, said. “I answer a lot of questions in email and it’s almost like a second job. But when you get a night like this and everybody shows up, it is more than worthwhile.”
Fitzgerald has been at practically three-quarters of the London Corporate Challenge events held in Battersea Park. Last night was the 25th running; the last 10 of Fitzgerald’s 18 have been at Bank of America/Merrill Lynch.
“I can attest full well that the Corporate Challenge provides real value to the business community,” Fitzgerald said. “Beyond providing a healthy workforce, there is real pride involved. Two years ago we finished first here and qualified a team for the (J.P. Morgan) Championship in Johannesburg. That was shortly after Bank of America and Merrill Lynch came together and it was a great way to raise our joint profile.”
BOA/ML’s throng of 516 was one of the largest in the second night of racing in Battersea. Another capacity crowd of 13,000 runners and walkers was on hand, covering the 5.6km race course at “blustery Battersea Park,” said with relish by finish-line race announcer Nick Mullins.
Moments after Mullins provided his observation on the weather, he was calling home the first family of Corporate Challenge runners.
Phil Wicks won his fourth London J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge men’s title in 16:37. The Legal & General star also won here in 2007 (16:11), 2008 (16:17) and last year (16:22). His dominant effort in that race helped L&G qualify for the 2011 J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge Championship in Singapore, where he was fourth overall in tropical, far from blustery, conditions.
Phil’s wife Emily Wicks, representing Punter Southall, won the women’s title in 19:16. It was Emily’s third Corporate Challenge title, along with her 2008 and 2009 titles as Emily Adams. She and Phil were married last August and this was a nice, early anniversary present to each other.
ExxonMobil members gather for a group photo. The team had 180 members.
Ryan McKinley of Runners Need was the men’s runner-up in 17:32 followed by Tarik Thabet of Societe Generale (17:45) for the men’s crown. Sylvie Lloyd was second in the women’s race with a solid time of 19:57, with past champion Lara Bromilow of HSBC third in 20:25.
Deloitte, the global accounting and consulting firm, was impossible to miss on the starting line and throughout the leafy Battersea Park course with its 1,000 entrants. Its understated white team t-shirt had a direct message on the back — “Best Foot Forward.”
Goldman Sachs (700), HSBC (629) and BNP Paribas (456) also had very impressive turnouts. Employees from the owner and operator of the event, J.P. Morgan, were a large and prideful bunch. A total of 1,984 staffers took part over the two nights, the largest number of JPMorgan Chase employees at any Corporate Challenge event in 2011.
ExxonMobil also had a very visible profile. Its 180 employees were positioned in the very first marquee in the hospitality area in the old British Genius site within Battersea.
“We love it here,” said ExxonMobil company captain Mark Scarlett. “We have requested this spot for the past several years and have been lucky enough to get it. We’re right next to the awards stage and whenever anybody walks past they see ExxonMobil. It’s tremendous for our profile.”
Runners snake through the green expanse of Battersea Park in the 2011 J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge in London.
Scarlett said 180 ExxonMobil employees out of 900 in the UK-workforce took part, and participation keeps tracking up each year.
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“We’re happy because we have employees from senior management through graduate level and everybody in-between,” Scarlett said. “And it’s not just a one-night event. Our entrants are working out in the fitness centers months in advance pointing to the Corporate Challenge, looking to better their times and represent themselves and ExxonMobil well.”
The 25th J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge benefited Barnardo's, a not-for-profit organization that works with some of the most disadvantaged children and young people across the U.K. Funds raised through the event will go to support their vital work in London and the South East. The JPMorgan Chase Foundation made a donation to the Take a Step for Barnardo’s initiative and all participants also have the opportunity to donate through a fundraising page at www.justgiving.com/JPMorganCorporateChallenge.
Creativity also abounded at Battersea as companies strived to create the most creative and/or green t-shirts in an attempt to win a $1,000US donation to charity. The winners — as judged by fans of the Corporate Challenge at www.facebook.com/londoncorporatechallenge — were Maseco Private Wealth and MHP Communications.
After a grueling stretch of 10 races in 45 days in three countries, the Corporate Challenge Series takes a U.S. summer break before resuming on September 21 with the 27th annual JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge in San Francisco.