Hillard Leads Impressive ABT Showing at Corporate Challenge

by EJN Comments (0) Articles, Racing

Hillard in command with a half mile to go.

Back on June 11th, Matt Hillard and Sara Donahue of ABT Associates both pulled out the individual wins at the JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge in Boston. Although the race has its flaws (most notably a higher than normal rate of novices placing themselves up front in order to clog the streets during the early tight turns), it is still a big event that gets a lot of attention. It’s also a great opportunity for faster runners to make a name for themselves in the work place. ‘Johnson ran that fast? We need to promote him ASAP!’ Over 9,000 runners competed in this edition and it ends up being a big event for many area companies.

For ABT it ended up being an even bigger event because they had quite a lot to celebrate afterwards. Matt ran a 17:02 and won easily after breaking it open in the latter half of the race. Sara ran a 20:31 and ended up with an even bigger margin of victory than Matt had.

Both runners will now get the all-star treatment and will be flown off to San Francisco for the championship event. Hopefully ABT is kind to them and doesn’t charge them vacation days. Matt, Sara, please print out this article and present it to your HR representative. It should be good for a paid, excused absence. You’re welcome.

Anyway, here’s a quick Q & A with Matt:

It’s impressive that both male and female champs come from the same company. How big of a deal is this internally? Did you guys think you had a good shot at pulling that off?

It was a huge deal at Abt to have both the male and female champions. As I’m sure you’re aware, Sara has done very well in the past so the corporate challenge has always been a source of pride for Abt. It means even more, then, to not only continue the legacy on the female side but add to that a win on the men’s. There was a company email that went out and the write-up on the corporate challenge website was shared via our intranet site.

I heard you and Jordan Donnelly made a move 2 miles in to break it open. Could you talk about that a little bit?

Jordan is a good friend and I have a lot of respect for him as a runner. He came up next to me a little after the 2 mile mark and said something to the effect of “let’s start moving”. So he and I both put a surge in around Dartmouth street. I’ve been doing a lot of strength training (at the expense of speed work) so was able to continue moving well into the finish. I want to say we knocked it down to around 4:50, maybe high 4:40s.

Yeah, Jordan told me that you guys had an exchange like that, and I thought it sounded pretty bad ass, haha

Ha it was badly needed too. I’ve definitely been guilty many times of just settling into a comfortable pace in road races instead of pushing it.

How excited are you for the championship event?

Very excited to have done well at this event. Im fortunate to be able to run for new balance boston so I get that team atmosphere in most completions but there is something even more meaningful about representing the men and women at Abt.

What are the short term racing plans?

Short term I’m looking forward to the BAA 10k this Sunday then a road race down in RI on July 11th.

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