- Published on Friday, 01 June 2012 12:37
- Written by ERIC BOYCE, BRYAN JACKSON
HENRIETTA - Runners, joggers, walkers and co-workers invaded the RIT campus to take part in the largest road race in the Rochester area on Thursday night at the JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge. The nearly 10,000 race participants included employees and co-workers from various businesses in the Rochester area. Mark Andrews, an employee of Fleet Feet Sports, and Jessica Snyder, of the University of Rochester, won the men and women’s 2012 JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge titles.
In the men’s race, the 41-year-old Andrews was the overall winner with a time of 17:33. Andrews and David Bronfenbrenner, an employee of Corning Glass who finished second, lead a large pack of 10 runners though the first mile in 5:04.
“I was surprised there were so many fast runners at the first mile,” Andrews said. “It made it exciting.”
Bronfenbrenner seized control around the mile and a half mark, which caused the lead pack to shrink as the runners entered the portion of the course that wound though the RIT parking lots. As Bronfenbrenner started too pushed the pace, Andrews tucked behind and followed. When Andrews and Bronfenbrenner approached the second mile mark at 10:05, they were the only two contenders left.
The two runners battled on, and Andrews made a move with a little over a half mile to go, as he sensed Bronfenbrenner was tiring down the stretch.
“I looked over and saw Bronfenbrenner laboring a bit, so I made a move with a kilometer to go,” Andrews said.
Andrews crossed the finish line with a time of 17:33, and Bronfenbrenner settled for second with a time of 17:41.
At the age of 41, Andrews is one of the top American masters athletes, and this Sunday he will be competing for the Masters 10km National Title in Ann Arbor, Mich. Last year Andrews was runner up to Mbarak Hussien at the race.
On the women’s side of the race, Jessica Snyder won her second straight JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge title with a time of 19:44.
“The race went out hard, which played in my favor,” a victorious Snyder said after the race. “I dictated the pace out there. I like to go out hard, make it hurt, and hope everyone else is suffering as well.”
Snyder took off from the gun and crossed the first mile at 5:26, which left the rest of the women in the race scrambling to catch up.
“Sometimes this game plan works,” she said. “I went out so hard today because I have been training for the Mountain Washington Road Race, so I saw the hill and got excited and charged up it.”
The Mount Washington Road Race is a 7.6mile race that runs up the service road of Mount Washington, which features over 6,000 feet of elevation change.
Once Snyder charged to the top of the hill, which was approximately a half mile into the race, Snyder never trailed. Sarah Loerch, a fellow University of Rochester PhD candidate who is studying biophysics, finished second with a time of 19:54.
Andrews and Snyder’s victories on Thursday night happened to be the second time both of these runners won this race. Snyder won it last year and Andrews claimed his first JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge title in 2010. The race had 8223 participates finish the 3.5-mile course.