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Runners take to the pavement in the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge Tuesday evening

The second biggest JP Morgan Corporate Challenge in Syracuse history is taking place Tuesday night as thousands of runners gather to compete in the event.
Syracuse (WSYR-TV) – The second biggest JP Morgan Corporate Challenge in Syracuse history is taking place Tuesday night as thousands of runners gather to compete in the event.

For many like Robin Pankhurst, the race is something she has been preparing months for.

“Everybody's very excited, we were here last year and it’s our second year of the corporate challenge. Everybody's really excited to come back and we've been planning for probably a couple months now actually,” Pankhurst said.

Pankhurst joins her team from New York Life, and while the focal point of the race is centered on fitness, for Pankhurst and nearly 8,000 people from companies around Central New York, it’s about a little more than that.

”Honestly for us, it’s just our team being able to get together because we don't get together very often so it’s about our company picnic and networking at the same time,” Pankhurst said.

Race organizer Dave Oja believes the event is a great opportunity for participants such as Pankhurst to bond with her coworkers.

“Making business relationships is something that goes on here year after year and building the sense of community and camaraderie in your workforce within a single company is a terrific thing that goes on year after year,” Oja said.

Oja says he and volunteers have been working around the clock to make this year’s race better than ever and began setting up signs and tents before sunrise Tuesday morning.

A new addition this year is beefed up security to ensure that everyone within the race perimeter is safe.

“There are security measures that we've undertaken that some will notice and some aren't going to notice. I think a lot of people are going to walk away saying, ‘This was great and there was nothing to worry about,’ and I think that's the case,” Oja said.

One of the new security measures is large bags not being permitted at the race. Security will only allow small and clear bags.

The race starts at 6:26 p.m. Tuesday evening.

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