The Corporate Challenge wait is over for Frankfurt businesses
The largest and most anticipated after-work event in Frankfurt is back.
It was a picture-perfect night the last time the Frankfurt business community got together for the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge. A total of 62,772 participants from 2,282 companies competed on June 12, 2019, racing 3.5 miles / 5.6 kilometers through the streets of one of Europe’s most prominent financial centers.
Now, almost three years to the day – on Wednesday, June 8, 2022 – the Corporate Challenge will return to the Opernplatz.
Frankfurt’s reemergence signals a healthy return for the entire global Series. Appropriate safety precautions due to the COVID-19 pandemic limited the Corporate Challenge to virtual participation in 2020 and 2021 across all its locations. The last in-person Corporate Challenge prior to 2022 was November 14, 2019 in Shanghai.
All participation in Frankfurt this year will be in person and participants can expect a similar experience to earlier Corporate Challenges, with company hospitality available. The emphasis will be on safety, with event owner and operator J.P. Morgan following local health guidelines to deliver peace of mind and a world-class road racing experience.
The return to in-person racing is a welcome one, as Frankfurt is one of the most compelling stories in the Corporate Challenge Series. The first event was held in 1993 on a dirt path alongside the River Main with a total of 527 participants. Now it takes over the main thoroughfares of Frankfurt, and has caught the attention of the entire business, sporting and municipal community. It’s the most unique “after-work rush hour” in Europe.
“The J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge is among the largest and most prestigious sports events in our country,” said Volker Bouffier, Prime Minister of the State of Hessen, at the 2019 starting line.
Frankfurt has generally been – by more than double the participants – the largest event in the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge Series. (New York traditionally registers 30,000 over two nights.) This is in large part due to the incredible partnership with city officials.
The Corporate Challenge is a staple in Frankfurt’s sporting calendar and Mike Josef, Sports Department Head for the City of Frankfurt, speaks about the event with pride.
"I am very pleased that the run can take place again this year and that a long tradition, which moves many Frankfurters in the truest sense of the word, is being continued," he said. “The event is rightly one of the fixed components of our sports calendar and the proceeds go to a good cause. The great route through our city is relatively easy to manage – and the atmosphere is simply outstanding.”
Participants in the 2022 Corporate Challenge can measure their fitness against the amazing performances turned in three years ago by Simon Stützel of Scholarbook and Tinka Uphoff from German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority.
Stützel was awarded first-place in the men’s division in the 2019 race with an official time of 16:25. Uphoff broke the finish tape first among women in 19:10.
“It was very exhausting, I reached my limit,” Uphoff said in 2019. “It was warm, and the air was extremely dry. I ran alone as the only woman at the front. That's when you start running at the limit and don't see the competition. Second place could also have been five meters behind. The run is always great, and I enjoy everything about it. It's great because the entire city is part of the run – the spectators cheer for the participants. The atmosphere is fabulous.”
For the 16th consecutive year – including both years the Corporate Challenge was held virtually – the Corporate Challenge will be donating to the German Sport Aid Foundation and German Disabled Sports Youth on behalf of all participants.
Stefan Behr, CEO of J.P. Morgan SE and Stefan Povaly, Head of J.P. Morgan Germany, hosts of the Frankfurt event, are impressed by the collegiality, sense of community and loyalty inspired by the Corporate Challenge.
“We are committed to contributing to and supporting the local communities where we live, work and do business,” said Povaly. “We look forward to personally welcoming all participants again in-person this year and offering a safe yet fun event that promotes healthy competition, camaraderie and teamwork.”
Behr said he is “very much looking forward to the passion, enthusiasm and inspiration that participants will bring with them and experience when they run the course together. This mood is unique to the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge.”
The J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge Series is deep in the planning stages of hosting events in 15 locations in eight countries in 2022. The Series is enjoying expansion this year, with new events scheduled to be held later in the year in Buenos Aires, Dallas-Fort Worth and Philadelphia. Buenos Aires will mark the Corporate Challenge’s first visit to South America, giving the Series a presence on all six inhabited continents.
The Series hosted 251,299 participants from 7,581 companies in the last full year of racing in 2019. The 2020 J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge Virtual Event was the largest remote running event in the world.