Sara Donahue and Matthew Hillard, both of Abt Associates, are congratulated by J.P. Morgan's Rick MacDonald (left) and Marc White as they celebrate individual titles at the 2015 J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge in Boston.
Abt runs Boston;
Donahue, Hillard sweep titles
Tape holders at the race included students from the Our Lady of Perpetual Help/Mission Grammar School, on behalf of event beneficiary Catholic Schools Foundation.
BOSTON, June 11, 2015 — Sara Donahue is an accomplished runner, a veteran of 11 marathons with a personal best time of the 26.2-mile distance of an impressive 2:43.
But individual achievements are secondary to this Abt Associates employee.
"I'm all about teamwork," she said. "I am running the New York City Marathon with my brother Christopher in the fall. He wants to go under 3 (hours). So that is my goal for that race, to help him achieve that."
With that type of attitude, it's not surprising that Donahue has performed superbly at the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge® in Boston.
Donahue won her third straight women's individual title on this warm, humid night, covering the 3.5-mile Back Bay course in 20:31. And she celebrated mightily on the Awards Stage -- for her colleague and teammate Matthew Hillard.
Members from Novartis pose for a photo with the Boston skyline in the background.
Hillard, running his first Corporate Challenge, won the men's title in 17:02. This doesn't happen often in the Series, though Transnet Engineering swept both titles in Johannesburg on March 26 this year and Corning did the same in Rochester on May 26.
"Sara is a legend at Abt," said Hillard, a New Balance Track Club athlete with a PR of 4:08 in the mile. "I definitely knew of her success here at the Corporate Challenge and it motivated me to do my best."
Donahue and Hillard were the top performers in a sold-out crowd of 9,000 runners from 520 companies. It was the 32nd edition of the Boston race, the most enduring and coveted running event with a course entirely within the city limits.
"This race is a truly unique experience," Hillard said. "To be running back on Commonwealth Ave., having the other entrants heading out cheering for you, that is unique. And it really is a proud moment to run for your employer."
The entrants covered the mileage for kids, too.
A capacity crowd of 9,000 runners from 520 companies breaks from the starting line.
J.P. Morgan will make a donation to the Catholic Schools Foundation's signature program, the Inner-City Scholarship Fund. Through this fund, thousands of children in need receive partial scholarships to attend Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Boston. The Catholic Schools Foundation (CSF) changes lives by providing families with demonstrated financial need an opportunity to give their sons and daughters a quality education focused on Christian values and character formation at Catholic Schools located throughout the Archdiocese of Boston, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity or gender.
"Every step the runners took tonight brought a child one step closer to a better life," said Mike Reardon, Executive Director of the Catholic Schools Foundation, steps away from three schoolchildren from the Our Lady of Perpetual Help/Mission Grammar School who helped hold the finish line tapes for Donahue and Hillard.
"This is a world-class city -- strong, smart and innovative," said J.P. Morgan's Stephen Burbage, the host of the night. "Tonight is a night to celebrate all of our roles in keeping business moving forward."
The Corporate Challenge has started on Charles Street, between the historic Boston Common and Public Garden, for each of its 32 years. It is the fifth oldest event in the Corporate Challenge Series, trailing only New York (39 years), Buffalo (35), Chicago (34) and Syracuse (33).
It's across the pond for the next stop of the 39th season of the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge Series. Frankfurt, Germany and 70,000 runners await on Wednesday, June 17.