There is a new standard for United States participation at a J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge event.
The 35th running of the Chicago version of the Corporate Challenge — held tonight at Grant Park, near the shores of Lake Michigan — attracted 27,037 entrants from 683 companies. This is the largest number of entrants for a single-night U.S. event in the 40-year history of the Corporate Challenge Series.
The world-wide record for participation at a Corporate Challenge is 73,719, set on June 11, June, 2008 in Frankfurt, Germany.
Event owner and operator J.P. Morgan set the tone for the record-breaking crowd, bringing 2,206 of its Chicagoland employees to the starting line. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois also broke the four-figure mark with 1,005 entrants. Ten other companies had 200 or more entrants, including: CDW (400 entrants), United Airlines (322), Molex (314), Morningstar (300), Deloitte (270), TransUnion (267), DePaul University (256), Citadel (209), Cars.Com (206) and Caterpillar (201).
Chicago has been building toward this record gathering, attracting over 25,000 entrants each of the last three years. The Grant Park event has been phenomenally popular since moving into the Thursday evening before Memorial Day exactly 10 years ago, 2006.
Leading the way for this unprecedented field of runners was Brandon Mull of TransMarket Group and Livongo Health's Chirine Njeim.
Mull earned his second consecutive Chicago J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge men's individual crowd, covering the 3.5-mile course in 17:44. His margin of victory was a scant second over strong runner-up Bobby Hartnett of Guggenheim Partners. Kallin Khan of Topel Forman was a solid third in 18:03.
Njeim was the women's runner-up in 2015, clocking in at 20:44. In sticky conditions foretelling the onset of a Chicago summer, she sped up by nearly a half-minute and won her first Corporate Challenge individual crown in 20:15. Second-place went to Delilah DiCrescenzo of PepsiCo (20:26), with Loryn Kromrey from Midwest Anesthesia taking third in 20:41.
You can find Chicago individual results (with a search feature) at this link and full men's, women's and mixed teams results will be published after the top runners have their eligibility verified.
For the third consecutive year, the Corporate Challenge served as a benefit and awareness builder for Get IN Chicago. By advancing stronger organizations and stronger communities, Get IN Chicago is creating a stronger Chicago. The not-for-profit is dedicated to identifying the most effective ways to reduce youth violence.
Chicago was the fourth event of the 40th year of the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge Series, and the second this week. The Series now goes “home” for the June 1-2 Corporate Challenge in New York's Central Park, home of the very first Corporate Challenge in 1977. The first night of racing also includes the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge Championship, featuring the first-place men's, women's and mixed teams from all 13 cities and seven countries in the Series.