It was cooler than your typical J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge, and the wind was creating whitecaps on nearby Onondaga Lake.
But if there is one city in this worldwide Series that handles adverse weather beautifully, it's Syracuse. Long, snow-filled winters have hardened this Central New York market, so even if the conditions delayed the onset of summer, it didn't diminish the spirit of the participants.
A near-record crowd of 7,862 runners and walkers from 280 companies gathered at Onondaga Lake Park for the 34th running of the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge. It was the fourth largest crowd in this event's history (the record was 8,564 in 2014).
Lee Berube of Upstate Medical University found the conditions (62 degrees, 21 miles per hour wind at race start) to his liking, racing home in 17:36 over the 3.5-mile course. It was his first J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge individual victory.
Andrew Dionne of Liverpool Central School District was a strong second in 17:39, followed by third-place finisher Dave Cook of Auburn Enlarged School District in 17:43. Three-time Corporate Challenge champion (2010, 2014-15) Andrew Foxenberg of U.S. Materials Handling clocked 18:21, good for fifth.
It was a return to the winner's circle for Syracuse University's Sascha Scott, who came across in 21:20. The 2014 champ finished about a half-minute in front of Jordyn Naylon (21:53) from People Systems. Tina Hunt of Health Fitness took third in 22:01.
Full men's, women's and mixed teams results will be published after eligibility verification of the top runners. In the interim, Syracuse individual results (with a search feature) are available at this link.
Wegmans, overwhelmingly, had the largest number of entrants in the event, 418. Its grocery rival, Tops Markets, was second with 306. Syracuse University (179), Crouse Health (176) and National Grid (168) rounded out the top five.
The JPMorgan Chase Foundation will make a donation on behalf of all participants to Vera House, a first-time beneficiary partner with the Corporate Challenge. Vera House works to end domestic and sexual violence and elder abuse. Its services include counseling, advocacy, emergency shelter and education. The organization was represented on site by Executive Director Randi Bregman and Board President Mark Fuller.
Syracuse was the sixth event of the 2016 J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge Series, celebrating its 40th consecutive year of operation. The Series was the largest corporate sporting event in the world in 2015, with 255,270 total entrants from 7,677 companies.
It's another two-event week, as the Series points itself east on Route 90 for a 315-mile trip to the 33rd running of the Boston J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge on Thursday, June 9.