Leafy Battersea Park proved to be the perfect setting on a warm evening in London for healthy competition and camaraderie at the 32nd J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge.

Looking for a place to celebrate with your work mates England’s dramatic advancement in the World Cup?

We got it.  The 32nd running of the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge in Battersea Park.

Less than 24 hours after Eric Dier’s penalty kick fired England past Colombia to advance the Three Lions to the quarterfinals of the World Cup, a full-house of 15,210 employees from 448 businesses entered the Corporate Challenge.  It was the seventh consecutive year that that the world’s largest workplace sporting event had reached its full capacity level in London.

Owner and operator J.P. Morgan set a good leadership tone with 1,089 employees entered on this first night of team-building and healthy competition.  This contributes mightily to the more than 9,000 total J.P. Morgan employees that are estimated to enter Corporate Challenge events worldwide in 2018.

Among all other UK businesses, PwC had the largest contingent of entrants on the night with 413, followed by 402 from Citi and 322 from UBS.

The crowd in Battersea is an evidence point of the uniqueness of the Corporate Challenge.  Despite the notion that road races are fading in popularity worldwide, the Corporate Challenge continues to surge as a company-focused social event.  With the number of entrants reaching full capacity again this year in London, eight of the 10 events held to date in the 2018 J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge Series have either reached a full capacity of entrants or increased its participation from 2017.

Stephanie Davis was the headline entrant on this warm summer night, and she is rapidly becoming one of the finest runners in Corporate Challenge history.

Now working for financial advisory Lazard, Davis won her fourth consecutive J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge women’s title in Battersea Park.  She broke the finish line tape in 19:34 (an impressive 5:35 pace) and now is only the second woman ever to win four straight years in London.  She matched the feat of Punter Southall’s Emily Wicks, who beat all women in the field each year from 2011-14.

Bethanie Murray of multinational professional services firm Ernst & Young was second in the women’s race with a time of 20:53 with Caitlin Lloyd of law firm White & Case third in 21:11.

There was a new face in the men’s winner’s circle as Christopher Wright of engineering professional services firm Arup crossed first in 17:07 (4:53 pace).  Andrew Penney of investment management outfit BlackRock put up a good fight to finish second in 17:19 with the bronze going to Thomas Purnell of Orbis Investments in 17:59.

For the second consecutive year, J.P. Morgan will donate in celebration of the Corporate Challenge to support Cancer Research UK, a national charity that funds over 4,000 scientists, doctors and nurses who work to save more lives by preventing cancer, diagnosing it earlier and developing new and kinder treatments.  Cancer Research UK has spearheaded some of the biggest breakthroughs in cancer treatments such as advances in chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery.

Another 15,375 runners and walkers from 388 businesses will line up for a second night of racing in Battersea Park on Thursday, July 5.