Boston JP Morgan Corp Challenge returns
Now in it’s 32nd year, the Boston JP Morgan Corp Challenge attracted 9,000 runners from 520 Boston area companies.
This year funds from the race will support The Catholic Schools Foundation. The Foundation’s Inner-City Scholarship Fund provides partial scholarships so that children in the Archdiocese of Boston can attend parochial school.
I ran with 16 colleagues from InterSystems on a hot June 11 evening in Boston. This is the 3rd year that our company has participated and my 3rd year running as well. It was great to meet new runners and chat with colleagues I’ve run with previously.
Boston JP Morgan Corp Challenge Photos
They used a pulse start this year to help manage congestion at the start. They also reduced the number of runners from 12,000 to 9,000. I was in wave two and we still had major congestion. As we approached Arlington Street the barricades on Beacon Street narrowed the street by about one-third.
I ended up walking most of the distance between the starting mat and the turn. Arlington Street and all the way down Comm Ave was very congested. I did my best to weave between folks and get around walkers and joggers.
For a while I was getting pissed off. This was a “race” after all, and I was walking. I calmed my self by looking at this as a fun run and fund-raiser for an excellent cause; education. I was not going to win or even PR. I told the noggin committee to that the F up: Enjoy this for what it is.
As I made my way down Comm Ave I became concerned that I was going to trip on someone and fall. With a huge crowd in motion like that, anything can happen. One mistake and your down.
As we approached Kenmore Square I was right behind a woman. She was moving through the crowd and I was following her and using the spaces she found/created in the crowd. All of a sudden she stepped to the left. I looked up and there was a large man facing me, about one foot away. I had no time to react.
I put out both hands and hit him hard in the chest right on his race bib. I thought I was going to slam him to the pavement, but I don’t think he moved at all. I noticed his running belt or iPhone holder was on the ground. I have no idea how he kneeled down and picked up his gear without getting killed.
This reminded me of my track incident a few weeks ago. With over 7,000 runners behind us, a fall could have been deadly.
Halfway at Kenmore
After the turn around at Kenmore Square things began to open up. The first mile was 8:01 which I found surprising considering the walking and the crowd. Mile two chimed in after the turn at 7:20. Moving time was 7:13. I guess hitting that guy slowed me by 7 seconds.
Mile three was a 7:37 pace. Even though I had room to move, the heat was beginning to drag me down. It was so hot and I skipped the first two water stops. I grabbed a nice full cup at the third and final water stop.
I knew the end of Comm Ave was far from the end of the race. I kept looking for the turn onto Arlington Street and kept trying to hold on. Death did not feel imminent.
As we turned onto Arlington Street, everyone seemed to be dragging. There wasn’t much passing going on. The crowd was lite as we turned left onto Boylston Street and headed for the final turn onto Charles Street. The finish line was all the way down at the end of the street, almost to Beacon Street.
Some people passed me or took off with some kick. The heat had sucked most of the kick out of me already. I scrounged around and found a few nuggets of coal to power through to the finish. My last 0.57 miles was at a 7:25 pace.
My official finish was 1,053 over all, 852nd man with a time of 27:09 and overall pace of 7:35. Not bad for a crowded course on a sweltering evening.
The finish and after
Our Team Captain, Tim Catoggio finished 10th over all! Dustin Weigl finished 13th! Our top female finisher was Mackensie Johnson at 866th. I think most of us were happy with our finish. The race is more of a fun run with a competitive edge to it.
After we collected everyone, we headed over to The Rock Bottom for some food, drinks and conversation. I think everyone had a good time and all were stuffed when it was time to leave.
I had to walk over a mile back to One Memorial to get my car. I moved along quickly and enjoyed the warm Boston evening. The streets were full of people out for the evening or just walking the dog.
As I moved down Charles Street between The Common and Public Gardens my left Achilles began to scream. I’ve been doing more racing than training lately and that’s probably not the best strategy.
As I walked down Charles Street towards MGH, a lady even smiled at me and said hello. I was wearing a race shirt and carrying a take-out tray full of brownies. I’m sure I was a sight.
It was another great year for the Boston JP Morgan Corporate Challenge and Team InterSystems.
Run well my friends,