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North Syracuse, Liverpool face off at Corp. Challenge

Running in the rain delay

Inspired by the recent "Ride Your Bike to Work Day" challenge held between Liverpool and North Syracuse school districts, another challenge was born during the June 22 JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge.

While roaring weather delayed the 3.5-mile race for 72 minutes, runners from both teams huddled in their tents set up in Onondaga Lake Park in Liverpool.

The North Syracuse team won the "biggest team" challenge by recruiting 67 staff and faculty while Liverpool had 47 runners by the race registration deadline.

The next challenge's winner was to be decided during the road race.

Each team was putting their best runners to the test to see which district had the faster ladies team. By a mere two minutes, the Liverpool team pulled ahead with its top ladies having a total race time of 1:43.

Next to the head-to head challenge, the top men's and women's team at the June 22 race would move on to the 2011 National Chase Corporate Challenge to be held in Singapore.

North Syracuse team captain Kelle Santa, a psychologist at Main Street School, said much of her motivation grew as Liverpool teachers boasted their bike day success during a spin class she teaches at the YMCA.

"I hoped that the extra challenge with Liverpool would spark more interest in the Corporate Challenge, plus build camaraderie among colleagues in trying to outnumber their opponent," Santa said. "It is a healthy challenge, and a good rivalry between two comparable school districts."

In the other corner, Chestnut Hill Middle School teaching assistant Chris Svoboda led the Liverpool team.

Each Liverpool team member wore blue T-shirts with a Warrior on the front and the words "Go Pool," on the back, thanks to several generous donations, Svoboda said.

Svoboda said the team wanted to thank the Liverpool Central Schools Federal Credit Union, United Liverpool Faculty Association, and the CHM and Soule Road Elementary parent-teacher organizations for donating funds to the T-shirt fund.

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