There was no stopping Chris Chavez of UBS Private Wealth Management in his championship defense.
Chavez covered the 3.2-mile course at the 32nd running of the San Francisco J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge in 15:33, earning his third consecutive men’s individual title, dating back to 2014. He was also second in 2013. That’s fitting for a committed athlete/employee who rises at 4:25 a.m. to train each day before work and boasts a 2:17 personal best in the Marathon.
In the women’s race, Lauren Centrowitz of Omada Health broke through after some close calls. She broke the tape first in 17:27, besting her third-place effort in 2015 and 2013 runner-up finish. Achievements like this are also familiar for Centrowitz. She was a five-time All-American at Stanford and is the sister of 1,500-meter Olympic gold medalist Matt Centrowitz.
Those were the individual highlights of an event that attracted a sold-out crowd of 10,542 runners and walkers from 367 companies. Race organizers fielded requests for more than 14,000 entries that included a start and finish at McCovey Cove and post-race hospitality within adjacent AT&T Park.
The China Basin has been a wonderful, sustainable home for this celebration of fitness in the workplace. This is the seventh consecutive Corporate Challenge to be held at this location, and they have attracted six of the largest crowds in the event’s history. The Corporate Challenge has also been held at Justin Herman Plaza (1983-90), Fisherman’s Wharf (1993-2001), and Crissy Field (2002-09).
The success of the event has been due to strong participation from the diverse and thriving San Francisco business community. The largest participation in terms of total entries this year were: Salesforce (822 entrants), VMware (314), Genentech (283), Gilead Sciences (251), Visa (250), BioMarin Pharmaceuticals (244), Autodesk (220), BlackRock (220), First Republic Bank (189), Shutterfly (163), Infinera (158), Accenture (135), Square (128), and Cooley (118). Other notable companies include: Google (87 entrants), LinkedIn (83), Twitter (79) and Fitbit (50).
Event owner and operator J.P. Morgan was the second largest company in the event, with 520 employees entered. This improves upon the 502 entered in 2015. The Bay Area employee commitment to the event has been strong the past five years, with 472 entering in 2014, 627 in 2013, and 606 in 2012.
For the third consecutive year, Year Up Bay Area was the beneficiary of the event. Year Up Bay Area — one of 14 Year Up sites across the country — serves 400 students each year at its San Francisco and San Jose campuses. Nationally, Year Up serves 2,500 students each year. It connects corporate partners to a diverse pipeline of skilled, entry-level talent while providing young adults the skills, experience and support to empower them to reach their full potential.
The 40th year of the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge Series takes a month off before resuming with its penultimate event – the fifth-annual J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge in Shanghai on Thursday, October 20.