Chase Corporate Challenge

Our fast guys at Lockheed Martin in Syracuse usually win the local Chase Corporate Challenge 3.5 mile race in August, which means we get invited to compete in the International Championship race in New York City in October.  One year in the early 90s they invited me to go along as team captain, which meant making sure we all drank too much beer.  Another year our team finished 3rd in the world in NYC.  This year, since a couple of our fastest guys could not go, and we would be pretty much out of the prizes, they invited me to go along as a competing member.  This was a nice way to cap off a big running year for me, having run the USCAA Marathon, the Comrades, the USCAA T&F Championships, and now the Chase Championships.

Friday, October 6, 2000 Tom, Marty and I drove down in a rental car to our hotel on 48th & Lexington in NYC, checked in, met the other team members (Javier and his wife Christina had flown in) and walked over to the Chase building on Park Avenue (1 block).  There, we took the express elevator to the 49th floor, and joined the cocktail party underway overlooking Manhattan, the Chrysler Building, the Empire State Building, etc.  Drinking with Grete Waitz and Bill Rodgers.  This was pretty impressive stuff, being treated like a guest by a big NYC bank is pretty different.  They gave each of us a fleece vest with the Chase logo on the back of it.  This was also special since it was the year 2000.

Then we took the subway to Chinatown and ate Chinese, then walked around the corner to Little Italy and had some terrific cannoli and cappuccino.  Then back to the hotel for a night’s rest.

Race Day 

In the morning, we met at 8 for the 9:00 race.  This is the only race that closes Park Avenue.  We started in front of the bank, run “uptown” a half mile, then turned back towards downtown, running under the Helmsley Building, around Grand Central Station, out about a mile, then turned around and came back.  Pretty cool.  I ran 45 seconds faster than I did in Syracuse (all the Chase races are 3.5 miles long).  After the race we went into the bank (only the 2nd floor) for brunch and the awards.  They had every kind of pastry, fruit and donut imaginable, plus scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, home fried – you name it.  After brunch (we finished 24th, out of the prizes) we went back to the hotel, cleaned up and went to the subway.

après le event

Tom and I went directly to McSorley’s, where I found a poem ('If') by Rudyard Kipling nailed to the wall.  Some other people from Syracuse showed up, and Tom and I had a couple beers, then went back to the hotel.  I napped. 

That evening we had another cocktail party with Bill Rodgers, again on the 49th floor of the bank, and then a dinner banquet.  Very nice, then a short walk over to another bar and a party. 

We drove home Sunday, after running down Fifth Avenue to Central Park and all around the park.  Very nice weekend. 

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