Sydney’s 17th J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge brought a record crowd to beautiful Centennial Park and also produced the fastest finishing time in the 2017 Corporate Challenge Series, from Winc Australia’s Kevin Batt. Lexy Gilmour of Westpac defended her women’s title and hundreds of enthusiastic companies helped benefit Rob de Castella’s Indigenous Marathon Foundation.
The largest crowd in the history of the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge in Sydney provided the fastest time in the 2017 Corporate Challenge Series.
The 17th running of the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge in Sydney’s Centennial Park featured 8,804 entrants from 391 companies, setting a record for number of both entrants and companies. The previous high-water mark was set in 2016 – 8,588 entrants from 353 companies.
Out of that throng came the fastest male first-place finishers in the 13-city J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge Series – Kevin Batt of Winc Australia.
Batt broke the finish line within Centennial’s green expanse with the clock showing 16:30. That comfortably topped the second-best time in the 2017 Series, the 16:41 submitted by Nico Sonnenberg of Bright Solutions in Frankfurt, Germany on June 13. All Corporate Challenge races are contested over 3.5-mile (5.6km) race courses.
In logging his first-ever Corporate Challenge individual title, Batt also logged the fastest Sydney time since Martin Dent of the Department of Industry clocked a 16:09 in 2014.
Two other men broke 17 minutes in the field – Ben Liddy of Central Performance (16:50) and Glencore’s Scott O’Connor (16:57).
Racing with an equal level of skill was the women’s winner, Lexy Gilmour of Westpac.
Gilmour earned the women’s title in a sizzling 19:21. This is the second-fastest time in the 2017 Corporate Challenge Series, trailing only the incredible 18:47 submitted by Tinka Uphoff of Federal Financial Services Agency at the June Frankfurt race.
No stranger to the front of the pack, Gilmour also won here last November with a time of 19:23, and was runner-up in 2015 and 2013. Her main competition on this night came from Kate Fitzsimons of Allens and the Reserve Bank of Australia’s Cathy Liu, who finished second and third respectively in 19:54 and 20:05.
Those were the impressive individual efforts. The team camaraderie was also one for the books. These companies contributed the largest number of entries to the record crowd: Commonwealth Bank (273 entrants), TAL (178), ANZ (177), Mercer (137), NAB (collective 125 including multiple teams), Westpac (129), Macquarie (118), Perpetual (112), Page Group (106), Challenger (105), Transport NSW (103), PwC Financial Advisory (103), Allens (100), and American Express (100).
The runners put in the effort, for the fourth consecutive year, for event beneficiary Indigenous Marathon Foundation (IMF). IMF uses marathon running to demonstrate the incredible capacity to achieve by Indigenous Australian men and women. The Foundation was founded and is directed by Rob de Castella, the legendary Australian distance runner who was a 2-time Commonwealth Games gold medalist in the Marathon, a winner of the 1986 Boston Marathon, and a 4-time Olympian.
Shanghai holds the honor of being the final event of the 41st year of the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge Series. That race – our only event in China – takes off at the unusual time of 3:30 p.m. (the earliest start in the Series) next Tuesday, November 7.