Johannesburg begins 2024 Series with record-breaking attendance

JOHANNESBURG, March 27, 2024 – Andrew Morrison-Young has run six Comrades Marathons, one of the most grueling foot races in the world.

He credits that exceptional achievement in large part to the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge Johannesburg.

“It was training for the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge back in 2014 with colleague and friend Garreth Trent that I started taking my running seriously,” Morrison-Young said.

Since becoming the company captain for JD Group, 10 years ago, Morrison-Young has steadily increased the firm’s attendance at the Corporate Challenge. Morrison-Young says their team moto remains the same:

“We start as a group of people and end as a group of friends.”

It’s likely a sentiment shared by hundreds of other companies as the Corporate Challenge remains a can’t-miss company outing for the Johannesburg business community.

The 19th running of the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge at the historic Wanderers Club was a record-breaker—attracting a full capacity 15,000 entrants from 355 companies, topping the previous record of 14,535 entrants from 323 businesses in 2018.

But this isn’t a new phenomenon either. When the Corporate Challenge Johannesburg debuted in 2004, it drew 6,144 participants, more than triple what event owner and operator J.P. Morgan was expecting. It’s a hot ticket every year, and if not for capacity restrictions it’s clear that the event could attract far more than 15,000.

A sell-out was the appropriate way to open the 48th year of the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge Series, which began with a single event in New York’s Central Park in 1977 and now has a presence on six continents.

The largest participating company in the Johannesburg crowd was by Investec, which had a massive 750 entrants, Absa (695), Standard Bank Group (588), Rand Water (400), KPMG (350), Liberty (350), Momentum Metropolitan (350), EY (300), Rand Merchant Bank (300), and AECI (250) completed the 10 largest companies entered.

“The J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge is always a highlight for Investec employees,” said Natalie Agostinho, Investec’s Team Captain. “We prioritize wellbeing and by participating in the event, it helps foster a sense of connection. It creates spirit and healthy competition among our people. It gives them an opportunity to participate in an inclusive event that is fun and exciting.”

Noleen Jansen, the Team Captain for Standard Bank, confirmed that the Corporate Challenge provides tangible employee benefits whether with training shoes or business attire.

“We value the chance to participate in wellness activities like these since they allow us to push our fitness levels and strengthen our connections as a team,” Jansen said. “Promoting employee well-being is essential to Standard Bank's Human First philosophy and approach. Our people consistently bring their excitement and energy to the event and truly enjoy taking part in the race!”

The race itself will prove to be memorable for Edward Mothibi and Renata – the individual winners over the 5.6km (3.5-mile) distance through the streets of Melrose and Birdhaven, with a dramatic finish line within the Wanderers Club.

Mothibi, representing Implats Platinum, broke the finish tape with a time of 17:18, four seconds faster than his 2022 winning time. Renata earned her first female J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge title. The Discovery Bank employee came through in 22:00.

After all racers, joggers and walkers crossed the finish line, they enjoyed a post-race concert by the renowned Mzansi Youth Choir, illustrating how the Corporate Challenge successfully blends competition, camaraderie and first-quality entertainment.

J.P. Morgan donated in celebration of the Corporate Challenge to Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, a charitable organization that supports various sport for development programs around the world, using the power of sport to bring about social change, a partnership that began in 2014.

Since the partnership with the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge began, Laureus reports over R80 million ($4.2M USD) has been raised by the Foundation, positively impacting the lives of more than 100,000 young individuals. In a meaningful new addition this year, Laureus partnered with The Sneaker Shack, which will revive and repurpose used sneakers donated by Corporate Challenge participants to those in need.

The 2024 J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge Series – the largest in the event’s 48-year history with races in 16 different locations – continues on Thursday, April 11 in Singapore.