Allow us to paraphrase a timely, newsworthy phrase and pair it with the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge mission statement:
On a beautiful summer evening by the River Thames, London Was Open for healthy competition, company teamwork and camaraderie.
Symbolizing this in shorts and running shoes was the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. He stood on the Battersea Park starting line, wearing bib number 30, to symbolize the annual number of Corporate Challenge events held in London.
The Mayor was appearing at the event in the same week he launched the #LondonIsOpen campaign, designed to show that London is united and open for business and to the world following the European Union referendum.
He chose an appropriate venue to drive home that message, as the Corporate Challenge is London's most popular team road race, and Mayor Khan competed with 14,099 other participants from 357 companies. This event culminated two nights of competition in Battersea with a total of 28,697 participants — a complete sell-out.
Mayor Khan had no issues with the humid conditions on the race course, finishing comfortably in 31:24.
Tom Jervis of BP and Lorna Russell from Accenture were open for excellence, earning the men's and women's individual titles.
Jervis covered the 5.6km Battersea course in 17:23, beating his colleague James Hoad by a slim second. Jonathan Poole of Commerzbank was a strong third in 17:47. For Jervis, it was his first Corporate Challenge title.
It was also Russell's debut bow in the Corporate Challenge winner's circle. She clocked a 21:04, distancing second-place finisher Camilla Hewens of Highbridge Capital (21:33). The 22:15 of BNY Mellon's Kim Hainsworth was good for third.
Mark Garvin, Vice Chairman, EMEA Corporate & Investment Bank for event owner and operator J.P. Morgan, was the host of the evening, making welcoming remarks from the start stage. He was a sight of running sartorial splendor, wearing a vintage Corporate Challenge souvenir tie from the 1993 Series year. A total of 847 of Garvin's colleagues joined him, giving J.P. Morgan 2,013 total employees over the two nights of racing in Battersea.
Taking the proverbial gold for largest participation from all other companies on this night was Goldman Sachs, with 619 total entrants. Bank of America/Merrill Lynch was a close second with 597, with Morgan Stanley fielding 457, BNP Paribas 446, and 300 each from Barclays and Societe Generale. Indeed, the Corporate Challenge is the social event of choice for the financial services crowd in July.
The 2-night capacity crowd helped make a difference for its elders. Event beneficiary Age UK received a donation on behalf of all entrants from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, and all Corporate Challenge entrants still have the option to make a private donation. The funds will allow Age UK to provide older people with vital companionship, advice and support. Mayor Khan was fully in support of the charity, wearing an Age UK singlet during his run.
Representing Age UK — a second-year beneficiary for the Corporate Challenge — was its Local Influencing Manager, Emily Georghiou.
The J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge Series will get some sand between its toes during the remainder of the Northern Hemisphere summer before resuming on Thursday, September 8 with the 32nd running of the San Francisco race.