Historic feel at Corporate Challenge Boston will also resonate in classrooms
There is only one city in the entire J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge Series that has used the same race course for its entire existence.
Beginning in 1984 in the Hub of the Universe, the Corporate Challenge has always been start on Charles, left on Beacon, left on Arlington, right on Commonwealth to a turnaround in Kenmore Square, back on Commonwealth to a right on Arlington, a left on Boylston, a final left back on Charles, and a nice kick to the finish. A fast, fun, and urban 3.5-mile course.
Boston, after all, likes its consistency and history.
So, when the Corporate Challenge went dark in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID pandemic, the Corporate Challenge race course was only used for local traffic. But it was closed to vehicles and open for bib numbers on this night. Finally.
The 37th running of the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge Boston was run under blue skies, with gentle breezes, with a grateful crowd of 2,812 participants from 182 companies, happy to be together in their matching team t-shirts.
With the Corporate Challenge returning to live racing for the first time since 2019, it felt like a rebirth in training shoes. And the individual results were respectful of the past.
Paul Gennaro, representing Raytheon, was the individual men’s champion with a time of 17:37 over the 3.5-mile course. It was his first time breaking the Corporate Challenge tape in Boston, and Raytheon’s fifth time in the men’s winners’ circle since 2001. Ryan Carrara was the champion in 2001 and 2003 and Jason Lutz in 2005 and 2009. No other company – not counting the New England Patriots, of course -- has had more champs in Boston in the 21st Century.
Scott Mindel of General Dynamics was second in the men’s race with a time of 17:43, which is a satisfying enough result. But his colleague Rebecca Snelson brough additional pride to the company, winning the women’s division for the first time. Snerlson came across the Charles Street finish line in 20:30, ahead of Megan Bonney, representing Relay Therapeutics (20:57).
The J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge Boston also had a third category of individual finishers for the first time. Employees from all companies could register as non-binary and those specific entrants are listed in the Series Leaderboard and are eligible to score in their company’s mixed team results.
And while it was great back to be back to normal with one of Boston’s iconic after-work events, the participants also took pride in realizing their efforts will make a significant impact for high school students from under-resourced neighborhoods.
JPMorgan Chase donated in celebration of the Corporate Challenge to Cristo Rey Boston, a tuition-free Catholic high school located in Dorchester that provides a rigorous academic curriculum and personalized support to help each student attain their college and career goals. The school is especially unique in that it incorporates a work study program for students to immerse themselves in a corporate setting one day per week for all four years. Corporate partners mentor students in professional and career development.
“Cristo Rey Boston offers full tuition scholarships to all admitted students, reflecting the school's commitment to identifying and removing the barriers that exist in the way of their students’ academic and professional success,” said Cristo Rey Boston President Rosemary J. Powers. “A high school diploma is not the finish line. We prepare students to succeed in college and beyond.”
The donation to Cristo Rey Boston is consistent with JPMorgan Chase’s philanthropic efforts in every Corporate Challenge city. The objective is to give each participant a feeling that their 3.5-mile run would make a real difference in the community.
“Partners like JPMorgan Chase are a model for joining corporate diversity and inclusion goals with a program that builds tomorrow’s diverse pipeline of talent,” said Powers. “The impact of their commitment means that our students have the tools to thrive.”
One-hundred percent of Cristo Rey graduates of the Class of 2022 were accepted to college, including admissions to Boston University, College of the Holy Cross, University of Notre Dame, Northeastern University, the University of Massachusetts, Villanova University, Wentworth Institute of Technology and more.
With the completion of the Boston race, the 2022 J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge Series is almost at the halfway mark – with seven cities of a scheduled 15 in the books. The second half of the year will include three expansion markets – Philadelphia (October 6), Dallas-Fort Worth (October 19), and Buenos Aires (November 3). Now in its 46th year, including two years of Virtual racing due to COVID, the Corporate Challenge is ready to spread its appeal wider than ever before.
The Series next heads to the United Kingdom for two nights of competition and camaraderie at London’s Battersea Park on July 6-7.