Friday, May 30, 2014

24th Annual J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge

Last night was our third year participating in the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge. I have only raced in it once, but Mike has "raced" all three years (last year he walked because it was two days after the Cleveland Marathon).

This year was the 24th annual Corporate Challenge here in Rochester. The race takes place on Rochester Institute of Technology's (RIT) campus.  Over 10,900 people participated representing 460 different companies from around the Rochester area.

Every year the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge picks a beneficiary. This year, the beneficiary was the Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection, which helps students who are at risk of dropping out of school by providing academic resources, life skill development and job training so struggling students can stay in school and achieve academic success.

When we arrived right before 6pm, there were already a ton of people getting their finisher t-shirts, warming up, stretching or just hanging out with their companies. One fun aspect of the Corporate Challenge is that most companies get a tent and grill food for after the race. Between that, company t-shirts and the fact that everyone is laughing and having a good time, camaraderie runs high at this event. 

 Prior to the start

The race is broken up into three different waves, first the red wave for racers and fast runners, the yellow wave for runners and the white waves for non-competitive runners/walkers. This allows for a smoother start and race for everyone because of the high number of participants. 

 The first participant is off!

 Right before the red wave's start

 And they're off!

After the National Anthem, a wheelchair participant started the race and then it was time for the red wave to start. Mike was in the red wave this year, and he was aiming for a PR. 

 Luckily, I got Mike in the background!

The 3.5 mile race course is run entirely on RIT's campus, around the "loop" and it is 99% flat. There is only one small hill on the campus, but you get that over with before the first half mile and you get to reap the benefits of the downhill immediately after. 

Mike Heymann, first place male

 Morgan Burrows, first place female

After watching the start, I walked over to an area right before the finish. I didn't have to wait very long before the first runner, Mike Heymann from Fleet Feet Sports, ran by. After that there were a few more runners, including first place female Morgan Burrows from Corning, and then the masses started to come through. 

I had no idea what he was doing

 This entire progression made me laugh

Mike ran a great race and finished in 24:07, which was a little less than a two minute PR! We cheered on a few more friends of ours before heading back to Mike's company's tent for post-race festivities. 

 Lots of runners

If you live in the Rochester area (or work for a company there), you should consider participating in the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge. If you don't think your company participates, all you need to do is form a team (one complete team consists of either four men, four women or two men and two women for a mixed team) and then you are able to participate in this fun, annual event!


  1. What a fun corporate event!

  2. WOO! Morgan! She was on my Seneca 7 team and (obviously) lives in the same town as me :) Great job to your hubby as well!

  3. We just had the corporate challenge here in Chicago too! Yay for Mike!

  4. Ahh! What an awesome time for Mike! The Chicago race just took place and it's HUGE. I've never done it because I work for a school in the 'burbs, but it's insane!

  5. Nice work, Mike! There's a corporate challenge run here too that attracts an astronomical number of runners--like 10,000 at least or something like that.