I live in London, work in finance in the city and run… And so it was about time that I took part in the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge under the flag of my bank. The two-day event in Battersea Park has around 13,000 runners each day for their 5.6km run.
Last year, right around this time, I remember a poor bunch from my office who had to go into poring rain. Waiting before the start of course was a pain but was followed by the muddy trail and no relief later on, as unlike some of our competitors it wasn’t like we had a tent or anything. After that experience, many chose not to participate this year. Who can blame them.
Not marked by that fowl experience, I was more than happy to give it a go and was rewarded by wonderful weather. It’s a bit of a pain to get there, being a slight walk from Sloan Square station where me and my colleagues chose to go from the City. Yet, who’s really to complain when the aim is actually to do something healthy and run 5.6km? Our group passed the massive tents in the two villages representing major participants with their large running groups to join our little team which had organized picnic mats and a few flags next to the goal. Thank god it wasn’t raining…
I joined the slowest group and waited for the staggered start to take place. Surprisingly this was done rather efficiently and we didn’t have to wait all too long before we were on our way. Like all such bigger events where the biggest couch potatoes take up the challenge (which is of course great!), it was like an obstacle course not to run into anyone who’d decided to walk after a few meters. I got to admire many corporate t-shirts, actual technical running shirts with company logo unlike ours that were heavy cotton with the charity we sponsor. At the end of the day though, with all these costs, I suppose I should be thankful enough I could run this.
All in all, a beautiful run. Not the sort of place to mark a PB, at least for me, but a nice way to finish off a work day with colleagues. The JP Morgan Corporate Challenge t-shirt is another nice addition to the runner’s collection.
In the same week, actually the following day, that I’ve completed the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge, I also ran the Standard Chartered Great City Race for the first time.
Despite being a 5km run through the City, this seems to be the run that’s less driven by financial companies with all kinds of company logos surrounding me on the day (I ran not for my own but a friend’s workplace).
The start seemed a bit less clear than at the JP Morgan run and a complete standstill around Barbican with a human traffic jam building under the tunnel was annoying.
Running past my own office was enjoyable for a split moment but running through the City gets old quickly (at least for me) and I realized I preferred the river and the park to those concrete buildings all around. The good thing about 5km runs is that they are over rather quickly whether you liked the race or not. Positive surprise towards the end was an unexpected cheering from my colleague waiting in front of Mortgage station.
I’m also weak when it comes to goody bags and so took the (for a 5km quite impressive) medal with all the foods and samples quite happily after the run.
Checking out the results later, the top man and woman on both races were the same… The City’s fastest couple, Phil and Emily Wicks!
If you’d ask me which one I’d do again… It would probably have to be the JP Morgan one even though at the risk of rain, I’d rather abstain from both… By the way, even if I keep on forgetting, all these runs are for a good cause!