A persistent drizzle wasn’t going to put a damper on the sixth annual J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge in Shanghai. Businesses look forward to this unique event all year.
Sure enough, a capacity crowd of 140 companies came together to celebrate corporate fitness and camaraderie. When founded in 2011, it was the only run of its kind in China – one in which you can only enter as part of a corporate team, not as an individual – and event owner and operator J.P. Morgan is proud of what it has built.
“We are very glad that J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge is becoming one of the major corporate events among the business community in Shanghai,” said David Li, Chairman and CEO of J.P. Morgan China, “The Corporate Challenge is a proprietary event that brings together colleagues across industries and it is our commitment to the corporate community to provide an event of healthy competition, camaraderie and teamwork. It is heartening to see so many companies use the event as a platform to promote fitness and well-being in the workplace.”
The Corporate Challenge has also settled in its new home at the Shanghai Oriental Sports Center, also known as the Sea Crown. The race moved here in 2015 after four successful years at the Xuhui Riverside. The new location has provided for a comfortable running environment and also plenty of space for post-race hospitality.
China International Fund Management had the largest number of employees with 272. Eaton was the runner-up, entering 200, bringing its six-year total of entrants to an impressive 1,618.
Shanghai Disney Resort had the third-largest team (199), and one of its employees was the swiftest woman.
Jiang Ying Li earned the women’s individual title – her first Corporate Challenge title – with a time of 22:19 over the 5.6km (3.5-mile) race course. She bested the 2015 defending champion, Qu Ting of DHL Aviation Services (23:13), and Dai Qian of Tiffany & Co. (23:48), the second- and third-place finishers, respectively.
“Big thanks to J.P. Morgan for organizing this race,” Jiang Ying Li said. “This event places good emphasis on fair competition among colleagues, healthy living as well as giving back to charity. Running is one of my favorite activities and I was confident of finishing in the top three so I am very pleased with my win today.”
The most decorated runner in the history of the Shanghai Corporate Challenge captured the men’s division. Mathieu Leboulanger of Schneider Electric hit the finish tape in 19:03, winning his third consecutive Corporate Challenge crown. He is the only man or woman to win this race three times.
Leboulanger held off Ju Peng of Bank of Communications who had a runner-up time of 19:49.
Ye Kaihao, representing Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, was third in 20 minutes flat.
Though Leboulanger’s winning time was 38 seconds slower than his 2015 effort on this same race course, he took more satisfaction from this victory.
“This year has been a bit more difficult for me due to injuries in the past two months,” Leboulanger said. “I had a very cautious start and I wasn’t sure I could finish ahead of the other competitors. It was easy wins for me in the previous two years but not this year so if I have to compare, this would be my best win.”
The 140 companies also helped make a tangible difference to the Shanghai community as J.P. Morgan made a donation on behalf of all entrants to the Ai You Foundation, the third consecutive year the Corporate Challenge served as a benefit to Ai You.
“We are very appreciative of the support from J.P. Morgan,” said Jiang Zhaohua, Deputy Secretary-General for Ai You Foundation. “This year, we are channeling the donation towards the ‘Ai You Reborn Project – Medical Nursing Project for Orphaned Child Patients’ where orphans in urgent need of medical care will be able to embrace a new life and a brighter future.”
Shanghai was the penultimate stop of the 2016 J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge Series. It is the 40th year of the Series (founded in 1977) and it concludes on Wednesday 9 November in Sydney, Australia. With an anticipated crowd of more than 8,500 entrants in Sydney, the 2016 Series will have total participation at events in 13 cities and seven countries of more than 250,000 entrants and 7,600 companies.