At the sweet age of 16, the Sydney J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge has never been stronger.
The 16th running of the annual celebration of workplace fitness and camaraderie, attracted a crowd of 8,588 runners and walkers from 353 to Centennial Park. That is the largest crowd in event history, topping the 8,332 entrants in 2015.
Brett Halls of Commonwealth Bank was the fastest of them all, breaking the men’s finish line tape in 17:12 after completing the 3.5-mile (5.6km) course. It was the first men’s individual title for Halls, whose best previous finish here was fifth in 2013.
Men’s runner-up Tom Highnam of Allens (17:25) continued his string of excellent Corporate Challenge finishes. He was third in Centennial Park in 2010, fourth in 2015, 2014 and 2012, and fifth in 2008.
Lexy Gilmour of BT Financial Group also tasted Corporate Challenge victory for the first time, winning the women’s division in 19:23. She had been ever so close previously, taking second in 2015 and 2013. Erika Jordan of NAB Asset Management was right behind Gilmour in 19:41, improving on her previous best fourth-place finishes (2015 and 2014).
Commonwealth Bank not only had the fastest runner, but it had the most entrants outside of J.P. Morgan, with 238. Eleven other companies cracked the 100 barrier – ANZ (236), Scentre Group (198), Macquarie (181), Westpac (147), Perpetual (122), Page Group (121), Australian Securities Exchange (110), CBRE (107), Mercer (107), Mirvac (103) and American Express (100).
J.P. Morgan, the event owner and operator, had 629 employees entered. The J.P. Morgan Australia employee commitment to the Corporate Challenge has been traditionally strong: A total of 653 employees entered in 2015, with 759 in 2014, 730 in 2013, 733 in 2012, and 689 in 2011.
For the third consecutive year, J.P. Morgan donated on behalf of all Corporate Challenge participants to the 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 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.
Sydney is the final event of the 2016 J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge Series, which visited 13 cities in seven countries on five continents. This was the 40th consecutive year that the Series has been owned and operated by J.P. Morgan and its predecessor firms. Total attendance for the 2016 Series was 254,501 entrants from 7,612 companies.