Last Thursday, Mike and I participated in the JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge. The Corporate Challenge is a 3.5 mile race that takes place in large cities around the world (although, Rochester is quite small compared to some of the other cities). You race on a team made up of other employees for your company and in the end one male, one female and one mixed team for each company is chosen by the captains to represent your company.
Luckily for me, I don't have to work until July 2nd (one benefit of being a 10-month employee) but Mike did have to work the day of the race. When he got home we drove to a local community college where shuttle buses were waiting for race participants and spectators. Parking at the race location isn't advised since the roads are closed for awhile.
The race actually takes place at the college I work at and it was crazy to see 400 tents set up! Each company has a tent where post-race celebrations take place, most companies grill food for the runners and their families.
To be honest, I wasn't feeling this race AT ALL. I was actually pretty grumpy and Mike was subjected to the worst of it. I didn't care about this race because our triathlon was only two days after and I didn't want to jeopardize all of our training.
Since Mike and I don't work for the same company, he headed off to his tent and I headed off to mine. Mike's company was nice and gave runners their race bibs prior to the race, but I had to pick mine up that night.
Mike is in the middle in the back, I loved his company's shirt!
In order to prevent walkers from getting in the way of runners this year, there were three bib colors: red, yellow and green. Red was for the fastest runners, yellow for the average runners and green was for walkers (maybe slow runners/walkers). I'm not sure what the time cutoff was for each color bib (you put your expected finish time when you registered) but Mike got a red bib! I was hoping I would get one too, but I got yellow. I'm pretty sure I put that I expected to finish in 29 minutes.
After taking a team photo (sorry I don't have it), it was time to line up for the race. It started at 7pm and the red wave went first. Then two minutes later the yellow wave and two minutes after that the green wave.
I was at the front of the yellow wave and when it was our time to go, I just took off! The one advantage that I had in this race is that I have run the course/part of the course 20 to 30 times since I ran a lot during lunch time over the winter (or Mike and I would run there before swimming). I knew that there was only one slight hill on the course and then flat to the finish.
The first mile had the hill and my watch beeped with a time of 7:58. At that point I knew I was actually racing and not just running. I ran through the two parking lots (there was a water stop here) and then continued on my typical running route. The second mile came in at 8:18.
As I approached the third mile I knew I was running faster than I did at the Run for the Young (my 5K PR) and I tried to pick it up. The third mile beeped at 8:22. I'm pretty sure that my 5K time was around 25:30!
There I am in all black, I didn't even know Mark was taking this photo!
As we rounded the last corner to the finish, you ran by all of the tents and some were already grilling! I didn't enjoy the smell but I pushed through it. I ran through the finish line and I was done! The final .54 miles on my watch said 8:04 pace.
My final time was 28:56 and I was the fourth female for my team! I came in 243rd out of 4,466 women who participated.
Apparently, Mike felt lousy from .5 miles on (he said that he felt winded) but he still did great! His final time was 25:54 and he was the fifth male for his team! He also came in sixth overall for his team and he finished 485th out of 3,756 men that participated.
At the time of writing this post the top male, top female and top mixed team results haven't been posted. Each team has four runners (four female, four male and two male/two female), so we are assuming that we are on one of the teams for our companies. I will most likely either be on the top female or top mixed and Mike will either be on the top male or top mixed depending on the strategy our companies used. The results should be posted soon!
Even though I went into this race less than thrilled, it turned out to be a fun day! I got to meet Mike's boss and co-workers and we had great races. I don't know if I foresee myself running this race every year, especially if we have other races on the same weekend, but it was fun to represent my company.