The water stations within Battersea Park proved to be welcome rewards on the second night of warm racing at the 32nd J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge in London.

England was the first country outside of the United States to take a chance on hosting the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge, back in 1986. The concept of companies coming together for a night of healthy competition and camaraderie after a long work day caught on.

The 32nd running of the London Corporate Challenge was contested over two warm nights in this World Cup summer of 2018. After a memorable impressive first night, a sold-out crowd of 15,375 entrants from 388 businesses gathered in beautiful Battersea Park for the second, swelling the two-night total swelled to 30,585 runners and walkers from 836 companies. The event has reached a full capacity of entrants in Battersea seven consecutive years, and shows no signs of waning popularity.

Thanks in part to London’s success through the years, the Corporate Challenge has now expanded to seven total countries on five continents. Approximately 250,000 total entrants – almost equally split between men and women – will enter this calendar year.

HSBC had the largest team in the Thursday Corporate Challenge, bringing an impressive throng of 850 employees to the 5.6-km racecourse by the River Thames. It was a spectacular showing by the financial services industry in general as Bank of America Merrill Lynch also had 600, Goldman Sachs 500, Morgan Stanley 464, and BNP Paribas 424.

J.P. Morgan, which owns and operates the Corporate Challenge, was the largest company in total at the two-night event, with 1,886 total employees entered (1,089 on Wednesday; 797 on Thursday). London was the third-largest J.P. Morgan employee turnout in the 2018 Corporate Challenge Series, trailing only Chicago (2,285 on May 24) and New York (2,187 total on May 30-31).

From that mass of runners, J.P. Morgan also produced the quickest women’s finisher.  Lucy Reid crossed the finish line as the top woman in Thursday’s race, clocking an impressive time of 19:15. That topped the 19:34 logged by Wednesday winner Stephanie Davis of Lazard. It was Reid’s first Corporate Challenge title.

Jonathan Poole of Commerzbank was the only runner over the two nights to break 17 minutes, earning the men’s title in 16:58. It was the second consecutive Corporate Challenge Thursday in Battersea where Poole prevailed.

The beneficiary of the London Corporate Challenge was 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. The donation from J.P. Morgan on behalf of all 30,585 participants is part of the more than $800,000 J.P. Morgan will provide to not-for-profits in every Corporate Challenge city, including organizations that support first-generation college students in Syracuse, NY, handicapped youth athletes in Frankfurt, Germany, the intellectually disabled in Singapore and the largest volunteer organization in Chicago.

After conducting 13 events in 10 cities over the previous 92 days, the 42nd year of the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge Series gets a welcome two-month break before resuming on Thursday, September 6 in San Francisco.