Legal eagles are fastest at Corporate Challenge

Olivia Chia believes that the high mental stamina and tenacity needed in the legal business translates into good run timings.
Olivia Chia believes that the high mental stamina and tenacity needed in the legal business translates into good run timings.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

The legal community had the fastest runners among 31 professional sectors at the past three years of the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge, which drew close to 48,000 participants altogether.

They clocked a collective average time of 39min 11sec for the 5.6km route, ahead of the civil servants (39:56) and advertising and public relations professionals (40:04).

Said Olivia Chia, 27, a business development advisor at law firm Linklaters: "Maybe it's because in our line of work, we have built up a high level of mental stamina and tenacity, so when we run, we have that strength in us to push ourselves."

Chia and more than 30 of her colleagues will be among 14,198 participants from 337 companies who will be taking part in the 13th edition of the JP Morgan event tomorrow evening.

But the civil servants are eager to out-pace the lawyers this time.

Dr Foo Gen Lin, a 33-year-old resident of orthopaedic surgery at Tan Tock Seng Hospital who is representing the Ministry of Health, said with a laugh: "Oh dear, we cannot lose, definitely not to lawyers.

"Civil service are a fit group, we should show the public how it's done. And as a doctor, we need to 'run' the talk."

Healthy competition aside, the finding also revealed that men in their 40s, who average 37:59, ran seven seconds faster than their younger counterparts in their 20s.

In fact, running formed a big part of JP Morgan chief administrative officer Ong Wei Han's consideration when he changed residence from Novena to Amber Road four years ago, which allowed him to run more frequently at his favourite route at East Coast Park.

Said Ong, who used to represent Victoria School for cross-country schools national competitions: "In my 20s, the demands of work went up but I never had issues with my energy levels. But as I got older, I found that running gives me more energy as well as it helps to clear my mind."

Alvin Chia

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 27, 2016, with the headline 'Legal eagles are fastest at Corporate Challenge'. Print Edition | Subscribe