Thunderclouds, Torrential Rain and Warm Smiles at the 2016 J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge Sydney

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It was the 16th running of the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge in Sydney and Mother Nature decided to bring showers and a late storm to the night.

In an occurrence that is very rare for Australia’s iconic state, especially at this time of year, temperatures fell to 14 degrees Celsius in the hours before the race. While welcome for a night at the movies or set up at home with a book, it can make exercise a bit daunting.

But a sell-out crowd of 8,000 employees representing 340 companies who were not deterred by the weather made their way to beautiful Centennial Park for the Corporate Challenge. Welcoming shelter and warmth from the company marquee proved to be a relished finishing item. The runners and walkers were bathed in sweat and accomplishment after completing the popular corporate run.

Now in its 40th year of racing worldwide, it proved once again that corporate fitness and camaraderie is not a fad and The SR Group showed their commitment to the event by bringing 16 staff members to the starting line.

Rachel Hodgetts of Carter Murray triumphed, breaking the tape in 22:15. In-house legal recruiter, Suzie Lawton’s second-place effort clocked 23:43 with Catherine Davies earning The SR Group bronze in 29:09 for the private practice team.

Mark Pryor, a first-time Corporate Challenge runner and Head of The SR Group in Australia, earned the men's title with a strong, 5.6km time of 23:08. He fought off runner-up Nick Robertson from Taylor Root’s in-house team (28:30) and Andrew Rouse of Carter Murray (33:57).

Impressively with the wet conditions, Hodgetts beat her time in the London race by 01:23 where temperatures pushed over 30 degrees Celsius earlier this year. “It was the weather that did it. I’m better acclimatised to cold and wet conditions, having grown up in Scotland!” she said of her win.