40th Annual Race
Cushman & Wakefield’s San Francisco office recruited a team of 24 Bay Area employees to participate in the regional J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge on September 8th, our firm’s 15th year in the 40th annual race.
San Francisco’s evening chill descended just as the race was preparing, launching thousands of warmed-up runners from McCovey Cove at 7:20 p.m.
Seventeen of our recruits followed through to run the 3.2-mile course along with approximately 12,000 participants.
4th Place Finish
This year’s Cushman & Wakefield team placed fourth overall in the race, just a notch below last year’s third-place finish. We’ve enjoyed a tremendous track record in our years with the Challenge, particularly in 2005 when Konrad Knutsen and Scott MacDonald were part of our winning regional team and went on to compete in the world championships.
Some of our mainstays took part again this year, including team captain, Jason Karbelk, a gifted runner and member of the Bay Area’s oldest running club – the West Valley Track Club.
Red, White & Grey
As our exceptional team captain, Jason encouraged our runners and delivered ongoing race updates. Leading up to the race, he worked with Justin Delatorre, Liz Dreessen and Robin Addams to coordinate a ‘design our t-shirt’ competition. Liz opened the competition to our Northern California Graphics team, and the talented Rishad Amarkhel won the runners’ hearts with his red-white-and-gray ‘clean lines’ design.
Marathon Man: 16:20 Minutes
Jason also bolstered his legendary status as the firm’s fastest runner, finishing 11th in the race overall, with a time of 16:20 minutes. Chris Chavez, from UBS Private Wealth Management, won the race, as he did last year. Lauren Centrowitz from Omada Health took first place in the female category, improving on her third-place finish in 2015. Incidentally, Lauren’s brother Matthew Centrowitz took home the Gold Medal in this year’s Olympic Games in Rio for 1,500-meter track.
Our very own Konrad Knutsen, who competed at the 2008 Olympic Trials in the Marathon, finished with an impressive time of 16:37, which earned him 2nd place among Cushman & Wakefield (20th overall). In years past Konrad earned top honors, finishing first in both 2005 and 2007. After the race, Konrad said, “This year’s Corporate Challenge had assembled the most competitive field to date.”
Girl Power: 24:47
Rising to the occasion, Monica Coen – our best-placed female participant –outran many in the competition, finishing in a lightning speed of 24:47. This achievement placed her at 270 overall in the race’s female category. Monica ran track and field in high school and college, and in the lead up to the race started training consistently again, covering race distance three times per week.
Some of our recruited team members were unable to make race day and were duly covered by speedsters Stephen Llevano, 20:42 (running for Kevin Waldman); and Aaron Stein, 22:38 (running for Eric Kathrein).
By 8.30 p.m., Cushman & Wakefield team members reconvened at Pedro’s Cantina for post-run celebration and nachos-and-beer recharging.
Race Results for Cushman & Wakefield N. California
Apres Race Results for Cushman & Wakefield N. California
An Amateur Runner’s Log of the Journey to Challenge
By Guest Blogger Caroline James
With six weeks until the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge®, team captain Jason Karbelk – or ‘marathon man’, as hailed by Mike Kirner – was in recruit phase, patrolling the Cushman & Wakefield San Francisco office for known runners.
Jason located my desk neighbor, three-time Challenge participant Justin Delatorre. Their enthusiasm inspired, as I lost track of typing and mulled the idea of beginning to run again.
With Justin’s participation secured, Jason resumed his search for known suspects. Of course, I’d been unwittingly snared.
My competitive nature sparked, the ever calm and collected Justin was about to be cornered again. After fueling my interest with additional detail, he sent me in search of Jason and my indoctrination into the Cushman & Wakefield running team.
One doesn’t quite know who in life is going to provide us with our next source of inspiration, but for the next few weeks, our research analyst, Jason Karbelk, was it.
Jason and I discussed a probable training schedule for me, which included first getting adjusted to running again. “Try the treadmill for a couple of weeks to condition the body, and then run outside about three times a week,” he instructed. Jason suggested completing one short-and-fast run; a second run that covered the race distance; and a third, longer run on the weekend.
Jason and I connected for a couple of runs before work, but given that “he runs like a gazelle,” as Robin Addams declared, Jason took his own track. This included conquering San Francisco’s copious hills, across a six-mile distance.
Nonetheless, with team-captain aplomb, Jason engineered a course for me via Google Maps – a calmer two-mile path from the Ferry Building to the Willy May’s statue at AT&T Ball Park and back.
Now all in, I started morning jaunts, traversing my custom course in yoga pants, no makeup and wind-blown hair. After one such run, I boarded our office elevator as Gerard Herrera stepped inside, glancing my way without a word. “Hello Gerard,” I said. He looked at me again and apologized, “Oh, I didn’t recognize you!”
Race day approached and 17 of us from the company braved the feat. Together, we were excited for the challenge, which provided a perfect opportunity to meet fellow employees and bond as a team.
I completed the course in 32:33 minutes – third place out of the six females from the firm.
Post-run, I expressed to Jason how much fun I had. The next morning, he emailed: “I’m so stoked for you! After a solid month of training and fighting those early runner pains, you completed the 3.2-mile race and crushed it! Well done! Keep the momentum going! Look into another 5K race in the next month or so. Turkey Trots are great as well.”
Ahhh, the legendary runner’s high that keeps us hooked…and Thanksgiving (aka Turkey Trots) is just around the corner.
Caroline has 15 years’ in-house and global agency PR experience – having joined Cushman & Wakefield from the tech/startup world in San Francisco. She specializes in brand positioning, stakeholder relations, and media strategy. Caroline is responsible for overseeing the development and execution of our external communication strategy in the West Region.