The great Steve Prefontaine used to say that running is about "having guts." Last Wednesday, on a hot, humid day in Central Park, about 40 of us New York Googlers showed our share, joining almost 18,000 other hardy souls in the JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge, an annual 3.5-mile race which raises money for the Central Park Conservancy and New York Road Runners programs.

JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge in Central Park

Central Park races are always tough, and the Corporate Challenge is worse than most, because both the start and the finish require running uphill. But for me, the third mile was the worst. The air quality on the East Side was, um, not good, and the stretch behind the Metropolitan Museum seemed harder than usual -- the ground is flat, but there was no air; it was like breathing in a plastic bag. Fortunately, then came the Cat Hill down to the Boat House, and the finish line was in sight.

Afterward, we reunited at our stand to exchange race gossip, cheer our strong showing (yours truly finished among the top 10 women), and most of all, congratulate each other for surviving the humidity and the hills.

And speaking of hills: the Corporate Challenge hits San Francisco in September. All you Mountain View Googlers - time to start stretching.

-- Corinna Cortes
research scientist
Google New York