Interviews · Singapore

How Technology VP Marc Elliott and Asset Manager Steven Billiet Train for J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge 2018

by On Mar 20, 2018

It’s not about having time. It’s about making time to do what you love.

How Technology VP Marc Elliott and Asset Manager Steven Billiet Train for J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge 2018

This year marks the 15th instalment of the Singapore leg of annual J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge Series. Held at the Central Business District (CBD) on 26 April 2018, the event will flag off at St Andrew’s Road and finish at the F1 Pit Building. This 5.6 km team run is open to full-time employees of local businesses and corporations. Each registered company must enter a minimum of four employees.

The J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge series started in New York in 1977 and has since expanded to 13 cities around the world. The Singapore edition began in 2004 and has seen strong turnout every year. Last year, the local edition attracted over 14,300 participants, including runners from 324 companies and internal employees.

The run aims to encourage companies to put work aside on a workday for a spot of fun and fitness. So, it is only fitting that we invite Marc Elliott and Steven Billiet from J.P. Morgan to share with us how important the race is for them, and how they prepare for the annual event.

Technology VP Marc Elliott has not missed a single J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge since 2003

38-year-old Marc Elliott currently works in technology for J.P. Morgan. Despite being based in Hong Kong, Marc will fly to Singapore to participate in this year’s race.

How Technology VP Marc Elliott and Asset Manager Steven Billiet Train for J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge 2018

Marc Elliott

RS: How did you get into running? And why do you run?

Marc: When I was based in London, I started running during lunch to get fit after I quit smoking. It helped me feel energised throughout the day.

RS: What drives you to fly to Singapore from Hong Kong to participate in the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge?

Marc: I’ve been running every year since 2003 when I became a full-time employee at J.P. Morgan. We don’t have a race in Hong Kong, so Singapore is a great option for me as I’m able to work from the office during the week. We also have races in Shanghai and Sydney, which I’m hoping to participate as well one day.

Also read:  Poon Zi Li and Rachel See: Singapore's Power Running Couple is Heading to Boston!

RS: What makes the race special for you?

Marc: The buzz you get on the day of the race, especially when thousands of participants gather at the start point, raring to go. There’s a lot of excitement and a strong sense of teamwork and camaraderie, which is what the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge is all about.

It’s not a long race, so, even if you are not fit or haven’t been training you can still take part. The race village at the pit stop is great for networking and getting to know people you would not normally meet.

RS: You were a Company Captain in 2015, tell us how it went.

Marc: Yes, it was a real privilege. It was very rewarding being part of the race committee, engaging with external parties that support the race and helping the J.P. Morgan entrants if they had questions. The Corporate Challenge is an important team-building event with a long history that underscores J.P. Morgan’s commitment to healthy living, so I was proud to be a part of that.

RS: Tell us about your teammates in this year’s event. Do you train together?

Marc: We plan to bring a small ‘team’ from Hong Kong this year. So far, we have three runners, but we hope to encourage more people to join us. We each have our own sports like soccer and hockey, so we do train just not together.

For myself, I try to get a run in once a week. I run around the race course in Happy Valley where I live in Hong Kong, as it’s flat and traffic free. Working at J.P. Morgan does provide the work-life balance that affords us the opportunity to invest in ourselves and in this case, our health.

RS: Do you have tips for other runners of JPMCC?

Marc: Keep going! The first 1km is the toughest – if you can get through that you will be fine.

Also read:  Off the Track: An Interview with Kilian Jornet

Asset Manager Steven Billiet started a weekly running group in 2015 to train for the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge together with his colleagues

Originally from Belgium, Steven Billiet moved to Asia in 2002. He has worked in several Asian countries over the last sixteen years, including India, Australia, Taiwan and Singapore.

How Technology VP Marc Elliott and Asset Manager Steven Billiet Train for J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge 2018

Steven Billiet

RS: How did you get into running? And why do you run?

Steven: It started when I was in Taipei in 2006. I was in my mid-thirties and wanted to get into better shape. There were a lot of good facilities and running tracks in the area where I lived, so I began running, cycling and going to the gym.

Soon, I started participating in half-marathons I haven’t stopped running since. Today, the Corporate Challenge is the only event that I join. It's a great team-building event that underscores J.P. Morgan’s commitment to work-life balance, and I am proud to be a part of that.

RS: How many times have you joined the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge?

Steven: Since I joined J.P. Morgan four years ago, I’ve done the Corporate Challenge every year. I missed one because I was travelling, but I had the opportunity to participate in the Sydney edition once when I was there for business.

RS: What makes the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge special for you?

Steven: It’s a great opportunity for me to connect with J.P. Morgan’s clients, employees and people from the community outside of the office in a healthy environment. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a competitive runner or you walk the course, everyone is there to have a good time. We support each other and celebrate together at the end of the race. The race reflects many of the things that make J.P. Morgan such a great place to work.

It’s also great reminder that J.P. Morgan supports healthy living, invests in its employees, and recognizes the importance of doing something special for the community in Singapore. It has a huge impact, and I’m proud of that.

Also read:  Marlina Ibrahim: This Malaysian Running Mum Deserves A Multi-Tasking Medal!

RS: Tell us about your teammates in this year’s event. Do you train together?

Steven: Since 2015, I’ve been organizing training groups for J.P. Morgan participants. There would typically be around seven or eight runners in total and we would split into groups based ability and speed. We would run from the office at Capital Tower to Marina Bay, past Marina Bay Sands, up to Gardens by the Bay and back to the Helix Bridge. We would run around 6-7km each time.

Part of the initial motivation for the group runs was that it gave the runners something to work towards as they geared up for the race. But the runs proved so valuable from a team-building perspective that we kept them going year-round, increased the frequency to twice per week, and continue to run today.

Last year, there were three categories at the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge where employees could win trophies for the fastest male, fastest female and fastest team. We won all three and hope to do so again this year.

RS: How do you train for J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge?

Steven: In addition to running with my teammates, I run on my own a few times every week. When time permits, I run on the weekends as well.

RS: Do you have tips for other runners of J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge?

Steven: Corporate Challenge is great avenue to bring runners from the office together and I would recommend extending the race into a team-building opportunity like we did. Today, the running extends beyond the event and has become part of our weekly routine. It creates another way for people to connect with each other outside of the office in a healthy environment.

Hope to nurture team bonding in your own company as well? The registration for J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge 2018 is open now.

Eva is a casual runner who has been hooked on marathons since her first race in 2011. She’s content to spend her weekends only on running. She is also a hiking enthusiast and traveling addict. When she’s not doing outdoor activities, she indulges in reading.

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