I ran the JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge back on June 5th and am only now writing about it. Better late than never right? I almost skipped out on writing this recap but decided that I want all my races documented for future reference.
For those who are not familiar with it, the Corporate Challenge is a unique race in that you run as part of a team (i.e. the company you work for). The Corporate Challenge takes place in many major cities across the United States. It’s a great way to meet new people from your corporation and spend a wonderful evening representing your career. Plus, it’s always fun to bump into friends from other companies!
I spent the day calmly working from home and set out towards Central Park around 6PM. I love conveniently located races!
The entire park was closed off and already buzzing with swarms of people. Due to the large number of participants, the race was actually split into two days – Wednesday 6/4 and Thursday 6/5. A few hours prior we also received an email stating that the race was actually shortened to 3.3 miles from the originally planned 3.5 due to some park constraints.
I arrived early and walked over to my designated corral about 15 minutes before the start time. However, it took an additional 10-15 minutes for our wave to cross the start line.
The first mile took place on the west side of the park. People were passing me left and right but I was determined to treat this as a calm training run, so I ignored all temptation to actually race. This didn’t last very long and I eventually made an effort to maintain a sub 9:00min/mile pace. I felt crowded and sweaty but my legs felt fine.
I started worrying about knee pains after entering the second mile, but luckily they never came. We hit the turnaround point right before the dreaded Harlem Hill and set out down the east side of the park. I was already fatigued and more than ready to stop running. My sunglasses started annoying me so I ended up having to carry them in my hand the remainder of the race, which was highly annoying. Beside this, nothing eventful happened during the second mile.
This final mile was the ultimate reminder of why I hate short distance races. I attempted to speed up just to cross the finish line as soon as possible but my body wasn’t having it. My bladder also made its presence known and I couldn’t wait to hit the port-a-potty. It did help to be very familiar with the course since I run along it weekly, and I knew that running downhill near the end of the race would be a nice break for my legs.
Final 0.3 Miles
I experienced a major burst of energy during the final kick for the first time in my running career and it was incredible. Out of nowhere I exploded with speed and power near the finish line and glided to the end. It was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. I don’t remember much else of this last sprint but I do remember happily crossing the finish line and chugging two full cups of water before heading straight to the port-a-potty. My Garmin also showed this final stretch to be 0.4 miles instead of 0.3 miles. I grabbed a banana and started the walk back home.
Final Time: 27:51 (8:27 min/mile pace)
Overall the race went smoothly. I struggled a bit but it was fun to run with a sea of people through my beloved Central Park. The official pace and the pace shown by my Garmin had a huge discrepancy (Garmin = 8:12 min/mile) and I suspect that perhaps the race was slightly too long, which messed with the final pace calculation. Anyway, this is why the paces shown above for each split are confusing…
– Has a “team spirit” vibe that makes you feel proud of your company
– Evening race: it’s nice to run at sunset, especially when temps cool down
– Tech tee: it’s a nice material and definitely wearable (in fact, I always see people running in it around Central Park)
– Location: I love races held in Central Park but this might be a highly personal opinion
– Evening race: I added this as both a pro and con because many people prefer early morning running
– Crowded: despite being split into two days, the race was still quite crowded
– Skewed distance: not only was the race shortened from 3.5 miles, but the distance shown by my Garmin was 0.1 miles off from the apparent 3.3 miles
Although I’m not a huge fan of extremely large & crowded races, I would participate in the Corporate Challenge again just for the social aspect of it.