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Tammy Petriwsky (1090) and Michele Carlineo (1083), both of Corning, share a smile as they start the 2014 J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge in Rochester.

Fast times, fun times mark ideal night
at 24th Rochester Corporate Challenge

WHAT: 24th running of J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge. The 3.5-mile race course was entirely on the Rochester Institute of Technology campus.
WHO: 10,900 runners and walkers from 460 companies, the 2nd largest number of entries in this event's Rochester history.
WEATHER: Partly cloudy and 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 Celsius) at the 7 p.m. race start.

University of Rochester (505 total entrants); Paychex (461); Wegmans Food Markets (300); Tops Friendly Markets (247); Unity Health System (219); JPMorgan Chase (180); Excellus BlueCross BlueShield (146); Rochester General Health System (144); Rochester Institute of Technology (144); Harris Corporation (118); ESL Federal Credit Union (111); Coopervision (108); Hillside Family of Agencies (102).


MEN: Mike Heymann, Fleet Feet Sports, 16:55

WOMEN: Morgan Burrows, Corning, 19:53
BENEFITS: Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection
NOTABLE: This was the second largest Rochester Corporate Challenge, with the 10,900 entrants trailing only the 11,118 attracted in 2008. The event has averaged 9,854 participants per year since moving to RIT in 2004.
QUOTABLE: “We are happy to pay for employee entries and provide company t-shirts. It’s great that our employees can represent our company in the community.” — JIM BLAAKMAN, Company Captain, A.R. Arena Products

ROCHESTER, May 29, 2014 — Nearly a quarter century into its existence, the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge® still brings a lot of originality and energy to the Rochester sporting and social scene.

The 24th annual Corporate Challenge was held on a perfect night for racing on the pristine campus of the Rochester Institute of Technology. The second largest crowd in the event’s history — 10,900 entrants from 460 companies — featured the second fastest male ever. Mike Heymann of Fleet Feet Sports won the men’s division in the 3.5-mile race with a time of 16:52. That’s only three seconds off the course and event record, set by Jeff Beck in 2007.

Morgan Burrows of Corning won her second consecutive women’s title — and third overall — in 19:53. Complete individual results are available here.

The Corporate Challenge is considered one of the marquee sporting events in Rochester, and that is what attracts superb runners like Heymann and Burrows. But the event is also about what happens in the slower and walker start waves and pre- and post-race in hundreds of corporate hospitality tents.

Brinkman International Group, a privately held, veteran-owned manufacturing company, made its Rochester J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge debut with a team of 34, captained by Connie Schreiner.

“Brinkman has wellness meetings with its employees and families and provides resources to help make more informed decisions regarding health care needs,” Schreiner said. “Participating in a healthy event like the Corporate Challenge is truly an extension of our commitment to our employees’ health.”

Schreiner, who serves as Brinkman’s Human Resources Director, wasn’t sure what to expect when she pitched the idea of Corporate Challenge participation to her colleagues. She was pleasantly surprised by the response.

Members of Brinkman International Group pose with RITchie, the RIT mascot, before the race.

“The company started out by paying for the first 20 entries,” Schreiner said. “But the level of interest was so high that we raised it to the first 30. And then we exceeded that.”

Joe Brennan, COO for the Rochester Drug Cooperative, returned to the Corporate Challenge after being impressed with the 3.5-mile race course and the general feel of company pride that permeated the RIT campus.

“It’s a terrific run and definitely builds team spirit and cooperation,” Brennan said.

A.R. Arena Products is another locally-owned company that showed its Rochester pride, wearing custom t-shirts.

“It’s good to get out here with your colleagues and do something that is not work related,” said company captain Jim Blaakman. “This is our primary health and fitness initiative of the year and the added bonus is that our employees can represent A.R. Arena in the corporate community.”

Event beneficiary Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection had an impressive team of 102 runners and walkers, and its President, Augie Melendez, spoke on the award stage while accepting a donation from J.P. Morgan on behalf of all Corporate Challenge participants. Hillside is a not-for-profit organization that takes great pride in helping Rochester City students at risk of dropping out to stay in school and successfully graduate with the skills and confidence they need to become college and career ready.

Mike Heymann of Fleet Feet Sports win the men's title in 16:52, while Morgan Burrows of Corning breaks the tape in 19:53.

Maggie Brooks, Monroe County Executive, sent the runners and walkers off from the starting line.

“This event is very well organized and it represents one of the things I love about living in Monroe County,” Brooks said. “The energy and pride of our people in the workforce really makes this the success that it is.”

Next week, the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge Series heads approximately 330 miles southeast to New York City for two nights of racing in Central Park, June 4-5.


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