Inspired by their successful sponsorship of the New York City Marathon, bank officials looked for a way to create an event solely for corporate runners, and at a distance for which even a busy executive would have time to train. It was decided to try a single Corporate Challenge race at 3.5 miles.
The idea took on a life of its own in 1977 when 200 runners from 50 companies gathered in Central Park for the inaugural race in what then was called the Manufacturers Hanover Corporate Challenge. The idea was an obvious hit. The Series has done nothing but grow, and grow, and grow since.
The Series sends a message that it is not just fiscal fitness that is important in the corporate world. Physical fitness also is important. Participating companies use the races as a platform to promote fitness and well-being in the work place. Runners find it easy to train for the 3.5-mile distance and have the extra benefit of competing with their colleagues in a relaxed and social atmosphere.