Anja Winikka of XO Group, Inc., smiles at the start of the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge in Central Park. Winikka was one of 50 XO team members who wore veils as a way to symbolize that they were embracing their own fitness.
Plenty of winners as New York celebrates
37th running of Corporate Challenge
Andrea Bradshaw from Bloomberg charges through the tape to win the women's title at the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge in 19:58. Below, David Nightingale of Capstone Investment Advisors wins the men's title in 17:31.
NEW YORK, June 12, 2013 — The J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge has winners on the race course.
On this particular night — a picture-perfect one at that in Central Park — those champions were David Nightingale of Capstone Investment Advisors and Andrea Bradshaw from Bloomberg, the first-place men’s and women’s finishers.
But there are many other stories of success in New York’s favorite corporate fitness event.
Take XO Group, for instance.
A lifestage and technology company, XO Group produces The Knot, the authority on all things pertaining to weddings, along with a sister Web Site, WeddingChannel.com. On this night, 50 XO Group team members fittingly wore veils for their 3.5-mile trek. But they weren’t celebrating nuptials. They were embracing their own fitness.
“We have been encouraging our employees to really pay attention to their health,” said Jeremy Lechtzin, the XO Group company captain. “This year we partnered with LiveHealthy America to launch the first of three different team challenges at the end of January. So far, our employees have lost a total of 729 pounds and have had completed various activities that total 6,111 minutes.”
That was more than enough of a fitness foundation to insure that XO’s employees would cover the Corporate Challenge course with vim and vigor.
“The Corporate Challenge gives us an opportunity to motivate one another outside of the office,” Lechtzin said. “We report each other’s times, have friendly challenges, and it’s a chance for us to see each other outside of the workplace. Plus, we all go celebrate afterwards to keep the party going!”
There was a full-house of 15,000 entrants from 361 companies at this 37th running of the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge, and there were plenty of other victorious stories.
Cassandra Miller, a senior paralegal for OppenheimerFunds, ran with her best friend from work, Cem Karacadag.
“Three years ago I begged Oppenheimer to enter a team in the Corporate Challenge,” Miller said. “I am so glad I did, because at the event I met Cem, and now we train regularly together. More important, my husband and I have become great friends away from the office with Cem and his wife.”
Members of Ricoh gather for a photo on a gorgeous afternoon in Central Park.
Stephen Mao, a five-year company captain from printing and digital camera giant Ricoh, can attest to the unifying strength of the Corporate Challenge.
“It’s a great team-building event,” Mao said. “It’s something strong for the New York City business community and it feels like one big club out here.”
The club at the front of the pack was led by Nightingale, who won the men’s race comfortably with a time of 17:31 in 72-degree, calm conditions. He bested 2009 champ Sean Swift of JPMorgan Chase (18:02) and Compliance Science’s Dave Nash (18:07).
Bloomberg’s Bradshaw was the 2012 runner-up in Central Park, clocking a 20:32. She shaved more than a half-minute off her time this year, and it was enough to break the tape in 19:58. Christine Argueta from Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton was the runner-up in 20:25, with Rachel Farnsworth of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett third in 21:12.
The largest companies on this night, in terms of total participation, were American Express (923 total entrants); Morgan Stanley (703); Bloomberg (689); Deutsche Bank (508); Hospital for Special Surgery (426); New York Life (367); J. Crew (305); Deloitte (250); HSBC (250); and Cleary Gottleib Steen & Hamilton (240).
Cleary Gottleib Steen & Hamilton didn’t just deliver speed in Argueta and overall strength in numbers. It also provided creative clout. The international law firm, along with MphasiS, a leading IT services provider, won the creative T-Shirt contest as judged at www.facebook.com/corporatechallenge. Both companies earned a $1,000 donation to the charity of their choice.
OppenheimerFunds gives a pre-race cheer in the Central Park hospitality area.
The J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge once again served as a benefit for the Central Park Conservancy with J.P. Morgan contributing to the Conservancy’s Central Play Campaign, which will reconstruct and enhance Central Park’s 21 beloved playgrounds, providing clean, safe space for the children of New York. Central Park’s playgrounds aim to nurture creativity and facilitate exploration and adventure for the Park’s littlest visitors. The Conservancy undertook this extensive campaign to bring all 21 playgrounds to the same standard of excellence throughout the Park and to provide the best possible environment and experience for everyone.
And certainly AECOM, a global provider of professional technical and management support services, and its 91 employees had a positive experience in Central Park.
“This is great for team building and collaboration,” Caroline Drucker, a senior manager in Corporate Communications, noted. “We have different business sites so the Corporate Challenge is a great opportunity to bring the whole company together for an event.”