Frankfurt makes a “Swift” return to a massive crowd

FRANKFURT, June 14, 2023 – The popularity of the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge Frankfurt is back where it should be – attracting crowd numbers usually reserved for a Taylor Swift concert or a Bundesliga soccer match.

The 29th edition of Frankfurt’s celebration of after-work competition and camaraderie attracted a 2023 Corporate Challenge Series-best crowd of 55,153 from 2,060 companies. This represented a 132% increase in the total number of entries and a 71% increase in the number of participating companies from the 2022 Frankfurt event (23,807 participants from 1,206 businesses).

It was the 18th J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge in Frankfurt that had a crowd of 50,000 or larger – and the first since June 12, 2019.

“This event has earned a rightful reputation for being one of the largest, most unique and anticipated corporate events in Germany,” said Stefan Povaly, Head of Germany, Senior Country Officer for event owner and operator J.P. Morgan.

Frankfurt continued a pleasant trend for the Corporate Challenge Series – explosive growth in every race market. Frankfurt was the sixth Corporate Challenge in 2023 and the Series now totals 128,507 participants (21,417 average attendance) compared to 68,329 (11,388) from the same six events in 2022. That’s an 88% rise and the Series has already exceeded its total 2022 attendance of 111,269 registered entrants. It also has surpassed the total number of registered companies (4,036 this year compared to 3,956 through the same six events in 2022).

“More than 55,000 registered participants, thousands of volunteers and masses of smiling faces - this was the 2023 Frankfurt Corporate Challenge,” said Stefan Behr, CEO of J.P. Morgan SE.  “No other corporate running event in the world has the atmosphere, team spirit or fun of this race and I am truly proud to be part of it.”

The Corporate Challenge has long been successful in attracting a diverse range of industries, and this year was no exception. The largest businesses in terms of registered employees were Lufthansa (1,359 entrants), Association of German Railway Sports Clubs (1,346), Deutsche Bank (909), Sanofi (889), City of Frankfurt am Main (697), Deloitte (500), Deutsche Borse (500), Commerzbank (489), ECB Sports & Cultural Club (485), and Polizei Hessen (447).

And among that throng of runners from the Association of German Railway Sports Clubs (Verband Deutscher Eisenbacher-Sportvereine) came the fastest female runner in the 2023 J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge Series thus far.

Amelie Svensson broke the finish line tape with a remarkable time of 19:03, a mile pace of 5:27 over the 3.5-mile (5.6km course). That made Amelie the fastest women through six events in the Corporate Challenge, topping the previous best time of 19:43 set by Trisha Byler of International Flavors & Fragrances in Rochester, New York on May 25.

The women’s field in this race was so deep and talented, in fact, that the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge Leaderboard now features seven Frankfurt runners in the top 10 Series-wide.

“It was a lot of fun. There were a lot of people on the sidelines that cheered for us,” said Svensson. “I also work in Frankfurt and usually go by bike to the city center, so it was really fun to run part of my daily commute to work.”

The men’s champion put in an outstanding effort also. Julien Jeandree, running for the ANWR Group, won the men’s division in a rapid 16:39 (4:45 mile pace), good enough for third thus far in the 2023 Corporate Challenge Series. The only men to top his time both raced in Chicago on May 18 – Phil Lambert of DL Trading (16:26) and Chris Porst of Thornton Tomasetti (16:34).

“Absolutely amazing,” said Jeandree of his first-ever Corporate Challenge victory. “I was very excited to race. The crowd was amazing. So happy to win the race. I was sure I had a good kick; I was resting a bit the last kilometer and then I just kicked it off.”

Svensson, Jeandree, along with all other finishers, made their way from the finish line to the main stage area at the Old Opera Plaza, passing through a “banana alley” 660 meters long. That’s a lot of post-race potassium.

The large crowd also made a significant difference in the community as the JPMorgan Chase Foundation donated in honor of all participants to the Laureus Sport For Good Foundation, which uses sport as a tool for social change, and Deutsche Behindertensportjugend, the umbrella organization for all people with disabilities who play sports in Germany.

The 47th year of the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge Series marches on with a dramatic turnaround, visiting Buffalo, New York – 4,000 miles west of Frankfurt on Thursday, June 15.