Alex Cadicamo of Goldman Sachs breaks the finish line tape held by former New York Knicks star John Starks (left) and former New York Rangers defenseman Jeff Beukeboom to win the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge women's title. At the awards ceremony, Cadicamo and men's winner Chris Bendtsen of eMarketer celebrated by taking a photo with two-time individual U.S. fencing star Tim Morehouse (inset).
The stars come out
for 15,000 loyal fans and runners
New York Giants star Victor Cruz takes a selfie with participants of the Corporate Challenge after blowing the starting horn.
NEW YORK, June 4, 2015 — The Yankees won the World Series in 1977, so that was a pretty special sports year in the five boroughs of New York City.
The J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge® was in its rookie campaign that summer, bringing 200 runners from 50 companies to Central Park for a single race. Since, the event has aged beautifully, and on this cool, comfortable night the spectator tables were turned. Sports legends both retired and current came out to cheer on (and, in some cases, jog with) a capacity crowd of 15,000 full-time working runners from 424 companies.
It was the second night of racing this year for the Corporate Challenge in Central Park, and the Hometown Heroes were out in force.
Mega-watt star Victor Cruz, wide receiver for the New York Giants, was on the start stage, sounding the starting horn for the multiple wave starts and taking selfies with adoring fans who crossed by. Amani Toomer, who was Cruz before Cruz for the Big Blue, ran in the race. Both wide receivers played pivotal roles in Super Bowl victories over the Patriots (Toomer twice), so that essentially provides them a lifetime key to the city.
Top photo: Former St. John's University legend Felipe Lopez (with phone) and former NBA star Vin Baker (right) run in the race. Above left, Amani Toomer, formerly of the New York Giants, talks with Kristin Lemkau (left) and Mary Erdoes (right) of J.P. Morgan. Above right, former Jets star linebacker Greg Buttle (left) and Victor Cruz (right) sound horns to start the race.
Greg Buttle, a star linebacker for the New York Jets in the 1980s, was on the stage too for those New Yorkers who root for the J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets! Buttle played nine seasons for the Jets, helping win their first playoff game since their epic 1969 Super Bowl victory.
Former first-round NBA draft choice and Knick Vin Baker and St. John's University legend Felipe Lopez ran in the race. John Starks, who was an all-star in the Knicks' 1994 Eastern Conference championship run, held the finish line tape with Jeff Beukeboom, who also is permanent royalty in Manhattan for his role in helping the New York Rangers win the 1994 Stanley Cup.
And, finally, two-time individual U.S. fencing champion Tim Morehouse presented the first-place awards to individual champions Chris Bendtsen of eMarketer and Alex Cadicamo of Goldman Sachs.
Bendtsen outdueled Robert Hartnett of Guggenheim Partners, beating him to the tape by a mere second with a fantastic finishing kick. Cadicamo successfully defended her women's championship in Central Park. The winners covered the 3.2-mile east-west course in 15:28 and 17:44 respectively.
The collective appearance by the professional athletes was a fitting tribute to an event that has brought more than 1.7 million entrants to Central Park since 1977, promoting fitness, camaraderie and teamwork in the workplace.
Coming tomorrow: Companies talk about their experiences at the 2015 J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge in Central Park.