Steve Black, co-CEO of JPMorgan Investment Bank, gives the thumbs-up moments before the start of the sold-out JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge, accompanied by Central Park Conservancy President Doug Blonsky and Kimberly B. Davis, President of the JPMorgan Chase Foundation.
New York enjoys second run of success
with sold-out crowd in Central Park
Results | Race 2 Photo Gallery
Katherine Howard (26472) of Jones Apparel Group enjoys a pre-race warmup led by Charmain Trotman and Jay Ciniglio of the New York Sports Clubs.
NEW YORK, June 21, 2007 – Ron Donohue stood just in front of the starting line at the 31st annual JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge in New York wearing a 2001 finisher t-shirt and a 1994 fanny pack while sharing 19 years worth of Corporate Challenge memories.
“I ran my first race here in 1989 for Mutual of America, and have been back every year since,” said Donohue, an experienced runner familiar with covering the 3.5-mile Central Park course at a competitive pace. “I love the camaraderie of the race, seeing companies from all over the city bring their best runners, joggers and a lot of walkers. There is no other race like this.”
Donohue snapped some pictures of the start, stored the camera into his fanny pack, and then jumped into the field, finishing about 23 minutes later. “This is just a fun night for me now,” he said. “I wanted to get some photos to give my teammates some nice memories too.”
And there were plenty of magic moments to go around at this Corporate Challenge, with a sold-out crowd of 15,000 from 470 companies taking part. Karl Dusen of AIG successfully defended his 2006 men's individual title, Jessie Webb of GlaxoSmithKline earned her second JPMorgan Chase title of 2007 (she also broke the tape first in Rochester on May 31), and quite likely thousands of full-time employees ran in their first organized road race.
“That's the beauty about this event,” said Greg Gorski, supervisor of fitness programs at Altria. “If this was just for runners, it would be another road race. But it's for joggers, walkers, and all the companies have great post-race party areas. It's not an intimidating event. It's pure fun.”
JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge continues growth
And that is why the JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge – in its 31st consecutive year of operation – is more popular than ever. With back-to-back capacity gatherings in Central Park, the 2007 Series is on track to draw more than 225,000 entries, an all-time record.
“It keeps growing because people keep caring,” said Kimberly B. Davis, President of the JPMorgan Chase Foundation. “When you are supporting important work in the community, it brings out a passion and a drive that is timeless.”
Indeed, the participants were enthused that the JPMorgan Chase Foundation made a donation for every entry to the Central Park Conservancy, the organization that manages, restores and preserves the world's most famous green rectangle. Central Park has been home to the Corporate Challenge since the very first event, on July 13, 1977.
“I'm just proud to be a part of it, and the firm is proud to be part of it,” said Davis. “It's just so completely within our sweet spot of what we stand for as a company.”
Individual winners Dusen and Webb were certainly competing within their sweet spot on this overcast evening as well. Dusen earned the men's crown in 17:25, outdueling John Traugott (17:47) of Credit Suisse and Morgan Thompson (18:17) of CS Technology. Dusen, who works in the global investment group at AIG, broke the tape with two fingers extended on both hands, saluting his back-to-back victories.
“AIG treated me fantastic after I won here last year,” said Dusen, a superior runner who has qualified for the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, to be held in Central Park this November. “They made a big deal out of it in the office and they gave me a whole bunch of nice AIG gear to run in. It made me proud of where I worked.”
Runners bolt from the Central Park starting line. Race winner Karl Dusen of AIG is near the lead on the right side of the field.
Women's champion Webb is making a habit of getting positive exposure for her employer, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). She won the Rochester Corporate Challenge three weeks ago in 20:08, and tamed the Central Park course on this night in 20:03. Finishing second was her GSK teammate, Christa Meyer (20:24). Third was Katarina Melville of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking (20:27).
“I took the day off and drove down the four hours with my mom,” said Webb, who works as a sales rep for GSK, based out of Elmira, NY. “It's exciting to race here in New York City, and this course was definitely hillier and had more twists and turns than Rochester. To represent Glaxo, and do so well with Glaxo, is very gratifying.”
Presutti, Rojas capture MSE Tiffany awards
Also collecting Tiffany Awards on this night were Richard Presutti of Schulte Roth & Zabel and Martha Rojas of UTC Overseas, Inc. The two earned the men's and women's Most Senior Executive titles, respectively.
Altria, Deerfield Partners and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation were the most creative in the T-Shirt competition and each will receive $500 to donate to the charity of their choice.
Nearly 200 of the participating companies set up hospitality space in Central Park. At 4 p.m., the sun shone brightly and many of the participants had foregone their warm-ups for sun-bathing. By 6:30, heavy rains hit the metropolitan New York area, but it was dry and comfortable for the actual race. “Perfect racing conditions,” assessed Webb.
With the sold-out crowd, the JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge has now hosted more than 1.1 million participants in Central Park since 1977. Many, like Mutual of America's Donohue, have run 19 or more. Budd Coates of Rodale Press, who finished an impressive seventh in the men's race on Wednesday, has competed approximately 25 times.
“People rally around their communities,” said JPMorgan Chase's Davis. “That's the magic of this race.”
New York Race #1: June 20, 2007
Kelly Chin breaks the tape held by Sharon Jacquet (left) and Leslie Lassiter, Managing Directors of JPMorgan Private Bank, to win the female title and cap an impressive showing for Lehman Brothers at the 31st annual JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge in New York.
New York celebrates 31st annual race
at growing Central Park hospitality area
Results | Race 1 Photo Gallery
Andrey Ulyanenko of Lehman Brothers (3142) and Jeffrey Tomlinson of Ing (1733) share some friendly competition as they near the finish line in Central Park.
NEW YORK, June 20, 2007 – Kelly Chin, a business analyst at Lehman Brothers, was holding the iconic blue Tiffany box. Inside was a crystal award symbolizing her first-place women's finish in the 31 st annual JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge in New York.
Flush with victory, Chin wanted to talk about her Lehman teammates instead.
“What's more impressive is that we had 800 Lehman people out here tonight,” Chin said. “The company puts a real priority on fitness, and it showed. There were a couple of colleagues in my area who said they were inspired by me to run. That makes me very proud.”
The 800 Lehman employees were part of a sold-out throng of 15,000 runners and walkers from 329 companies. When registration opened for this event in March it reached capacity in 36 hours, and those early planning businesses were rewarded with surreal weather. Race time temperature in Central Park was 75 degrees with a light wind.
“This is a great chance to get people from different parts of the company together,” said Paul Kanterman, co-captain for legendary department store Bloomingdale's, which entered a team of 99. “Employees in sales, planning and marketing are all together and as a company we don't usually get that chance.”
Kanterman and his Bloomingdale teammates were one of over 175 companies that had reserved hospitality space in Central Park. With a focus on post-race festivities the past three years, the Corporate Challenge has evolved from a large after-work workout to the corporate social event of the year in Manhattan.
Hearst Corporation one of many companies in hospitality area
The Hearst Corporation, looking to find a galvanizing event for its employees after recently moving its workforce into a new facility on 57th Street, had 80 entrants on the starting line.
“As part of the whole cultural transition of moving into a new building, this was perfect for us,” said Lou Nowikas, Director of Operations for the Hearst Tower. “And we do things right at Hearst, and we were not going to take this event halfway. We ordered the food, we took the tent, we got the t-shirts and we're having a great time.”
Hearst took its creative skills to the highest level in fact, earning one of three awards for most creative t-shirts. Hearst's design celebrated that its new HQ was the first “green” skyscraper in the borough. Giorgio Armani Corp. (naturally) and Rockefeller & Co. were the other winners, each receiving a $500 donation from JPMorgan Chase to provide to the charity of their choice.
The JPMorgan Chase Foundation also made a donation for each entry to the Central Park Conservancy, the organization that manages, restores and preserves the magnificent landmark. Central Park has been home to the Corporate Challenge since the very first race in Series history – July 13, 1977 – and with this race JPMorgan Chase has hosted more than 1.1 million runners the last 31 summers.
“It is so much fun seeing all the different companies here,” said Hearst's Nowikas. “It's absolutely exciting.”
Most Senior Executive Mark Powell (green #46) celebrates with his Bloomingdale's team in Central Park corporate hospitality area.
One person who knows the Corporate Challenge from the inside out is Frank Corrigan, a computer applications specialist at Reuters. While Corrigan was prepping at Iona College – and excelling on the Gaels' nationally-renowned cross country team – he also was working on the logistics team for the Corporate Challenge Series, setting up barriers, branding, water stations and the like in cities like Chicago, Rochester and Syracuse.
“Now that I have graduated from school and have a full-time job,” Corrigan said, “I was psyched to run in the Corporate Challenge. I wanted to experience what I had helped set up.”
He experienced it from the front of the pack. Corrigan won the men's individual title in 17:42, beating past champion Mike Guastella of Morgan Stanley by a convincing 20 seconds. Seth Holland of Flack & Kurtz was third in 18:12.
“I love racing now in this environment,” Corrigan said. “It seems like everybody is having a good time. In college, everybody is your enemy. This is a lot more fun.”
Women's champion Chin would agree. Her victory was no less impressive with a winning time of 21:01. Right behind her was Lehman Brothers teammate Elizabeth Williamson in 21:27. Natalie Gingerich of Rodale Press – one of the more decorated companies in Corporate Challenge history, dating back to the 70's – was third with a time of 21:37.
Watch out for Chin's name in big-time running circles. A 2:51 marathoner, she is looking to shave five minutes off her time this October at the Chicago Marathon and potentially qualify for the U.S. Olympic Trials.
Phillips, Adams win MSE titles
Tom Phillips, representing Google, won the men's Most Senior Executive (MSE) Award in 20:22 and Theresa Adams of Principia Partners earned the women's MSE in 42:19. Phillips is a multiple past champion in this category, having also won while in the lead chair at Spy Magazine.
Of the 329companies, Morgan Stanley had the largest contingent with a massive team of 1,605, many of whom who celebrated picnic style following in a gorgeous expanse of Central Park just off the Sheep Meadow. Thirteen outfits total had 200 or more participants as the word spreads about the post-race hospitality element of the Corporate Challenge.
“We had 40 people two years ago, 60 last year, and just about 100 this year,” said Bloomingdale's Kanterman. “Hey, we got a meal, snacks, Propel fitness water, and a great race in a beautiful park. And at Bloomingdale's, we are like no other runners in the world.”