It’s a familiar sight each May; throngs of J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge running up and down Columbus Drive.

Chicago has set a high bar for J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge participation.

The 2018 crowd in Grant Park for Chicago’s largest after-work social/sporting event was a record-breaking 27,777 entrants from 692 companies. That was the largest single-night gathering in J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge Series history, dating back to the Series’ 1977 origin

Only Frankfurt has hosted more Corporate Challenge participants on a single night than Chicago. The German banking capital have the all-time mark of 73,719 entrants on June 11, 2008.

Now it’s time to plan for 2019. Registration is open for the 38th running of the Chicago J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge, which will be held on Thursday, May 23, with a 7 p.m. starting horn. It holds a familiar place on the calendar – the Thursday before Memorial Day.

The continuity of date is a big reason why this event has grown dramatically in popularity. The size of the crowd has more than doubled in the last 15 years, with 12,500 runners and walkers gathering in 2003.

With high demand again anticipated, companies are asked to begin forming their teams as soon as possible. Registration will close on April 18 or when capacity is reached, whichever comes first. If you have questions or need support, please contact Chicago@corpchallenge.jpmorgan.com or (847) 779-7444.

Beyond covering a 3.5-mile course that is perfect for racers, joggers and walkers of all ages 18-and-up, businesses also have the option to host their employees at hospitality space in Grant Park. With an impressive selection of tent sizes and catering options available, over 300 companies can be accommodated in this program. Reservations are first-come, first-serve. Contact Chicago@corpchallenge.jpmorgan.com for any support with your registration or hospitality reservations.

The Corporate Challenge attracts large multinational companies, mid-size businesses and local entrepreneurial outfits. Blue Cross Blue Shield Illinois led the way in participation last year, bringing an amazing 1,134 employees to the Columbus Drive starting line. Eight other companies registered 250 or more: CDW (374), United Airlines (370), TransUnion (351), Molex (292), Morningstar (275), Deloitte (271), Crate and Barrel (257) and Wintrust (250).

There was also quality amongst the quantity from Blue Cross Blue Shield, as its men’s team earned first-place and a spot in the 2019 J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge Championship. It will be joined by JPMorgan Chase, which won the women’s division, and mixed champions Accenture. The location and date of the Championship will be announced in due course.

Chirine Njeim of Livongo Health was the first woman to cross the finish line with a time of 19:55 over the 3.5-mile course. Bobby Hartnett of Guggenheim Partners earned the men’s title in 17:40.

The 2018 Corporate Challenge served as a benefit for Chicago Cares, the largest volunteer organization in Chicago. Information on the 2019 beneficiary will be announced soon.

Chicago is one of seven U.S. cities in the 2019 J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge Series, which in totality visits seven countries on five continents with nearly 260,000 total participants. The Series is in its 43rd consecutive year of operation.