Johannesburg - Another full-capacity crowd of 13 000 runners and joggers from some of South Africa’s leading business powerhouses packed the streets of Johannesburg’s northern suburbs last Thursday to kick off this year’s worldwide series of the JPMorgan Corporate Challenge.
This year marked the 11th running of the 5.6km corporate fitness challenge in Johannesburg, with participants from 227 companies.
Global financial services company JPMorgan Chase founded the challenge in its home city of New York, way back in 1977. The event has grown steadily ever since, and it now takes places in seven countries on five continents.
First across the finish line – held by John Mitchell, rugby sporting legend, former All Blacks and Lions coach, and South African model Kerry McGregor – was Samuel Segoaba (16:50), the first male, representing Transnet Engineering.
The first female to cross the finish line – held by John Mitchell and Ian Balfour, the head of markets for sub-Saharan Africa at JPMorgan – was Annah Moeketsi (21:28), representing Transnet Engineering.
“I love the JPMorgan Corporate Challenge – it is a great race and is a way for me to get more sponsors on my side,” Moeketsi said.
Beating the JPMorgan Corporate Challenge time from last year, Samuel Segoaba had this to say about the race: “I like to run this race because it gives me a challenge – it is a flat run so it makes me faster and stronger.”
Besides giving thousands of employees an opportunity to participate in an evening of healthy competition, the JPMorgan Corporate Challenge has also become a useful avenue for making a difference.
Each year the JPMorgan Chase Foundation makes a donation on behalf of the race to a worthy non-profit organisation. This year’s beneficiary was the Laureus Sport For Good Foundation (www.laureus.co.za), which provides financial and practical support to more than 140 projects worldwide.
The foundation uses the power of sport to provide coaching and education to young people in some of the world’s most challenging and deprived environments.
The 10 largest companies in terms of entrants were: Standard Bank (750 entrants); KPMG (550); Investec (500); Nedbank (500); Liberty (475); Rand Water (425); Deloitte (400); PwC (300); SAB (285); and Ernst & Young (251).
Business Report, South Africa’s national financial daily, is the official print media partner for the Johannesburg leg of the JPMorgan Corporate Challenge.
“We are proud to be associated with this major event on the South African corporate calendar. It shows that business and work can be fun. We look forward to another great race in 2015,” editor Ellis Mnyandu said.