For additional information in German, please go to www.jpmccc.de
Race officials, participants, and members of the German Sports Aid Foundation celebrate a donation of €246,50 by J.P. Morgan to the race beneficiary. Also cause for great cheer at this year's event was the announcement that the cumulative total generated by the event for handicapped sports has now exceeded €1 million.
J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge in Frankfurt
pushes past €1 million for handicapped sports
FRANKFURT, June 15, 2011 — The size of the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge in Frankfurt makes it stand out. A total of 68,454 runners representing 2,742 companies from throughout Germany took part in the 19th annual event tonight, essentially creating a ribbon of humanity for 5.6 kilometers in this beautiful, historic city.
A line composed of some of the 68,454 runners in the 2011 J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge stretches out over blocks in historic Frankfurt.
The total entrants makes the Corporate Challenge the largest footrace in the world held to date in calendar year 2011.
But what really makes the Corporate Challenge stand alone is its commitment to young, handicapped athletes. A total of €246,500 was donated by J.P. Morgan to the German Sports Aid Foundation (Deutsche Sporthilfe), specifically to benefit 10 individual projects that support handicapped sports for students. This is the fifth consecutive year the Corporate Challenge has partnered with Sports Aid and the cumulative donation exceeds €1 million.
“It is has been our goal these last five years to use the huge platform that the Corporate Challenge provides us to do something good for those disadvantaged in our society,” said Dr. Karl-Georg Altenburg, CEO Germany /Austria /Switzerland for J.P. Morgan. “I am glad to announce that we have exceeded the €1 million mark with our donations and promise that J.P. Morgan will continue its athletic and social engagement in the future with equal commitment and strength.”
Altenburg showed J.P. Morgan’s commitment to the cause by running the race with the director of Sports Aid, Dr. Michael Ilgner, and Frankfurt’s economics director Markus Frank.
“It’s a sign of our collaboration,” Altenburg said. “Sports Aid has extensive knowledge of handicapped sports and works hard to assure that the donation is effectively used. All the participants in the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge can feel proud that their participation tonight will make a difference for this special cause.”
All participants — approximately 45,000 men and 23,000 women — were sent onto the race course from two zones, with the length of runners stretching back 800 meters from each starting line. They came from 330 cities from across Germany (it took 281 busses to transport the out-of-towners) and post-race they celebrated at more than 400 different hospitality locations in the area surrounding the Old Opera Plaza.
The huge, brightly colored ribbon of runners and walkers was led by two familiar names who returned to defend their titles.
Christoph Chayriguet of Bongrain Deutschland led all the runners to the finish with a time of 16:34, four seconds better than Soeren Kah on Scholarbook. Simon Stuetzel, also of Scholarbook, was third in 16:52. It was Chayriguet's third individual title here, and he was as enthusiastic as ever after claiming the men's crown.
“I quickly overtook a number of runners on the first 500 meters, then slowed down a little and really pushed towards the end," he said. “You rarely have the chance as a runner to run ahead of the pack. It is really something different to compete among the colleagues, excellent for the team spirit.”
CTeammates exchange a row-full of high fives during the 2011 J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge in Frankfurt. Some 2,742 companies gathered for the annual race.
Now, said the employee of the global market leader for cheese products, it was time for a post-race celebration of “Grüneburgpark — eating cheese.”
For the women, Jenny Schulz of Deutsche Bundesbank, the German Federal Bank, defended her title in the eye-opening time of 18:53. She was well ahead of runner-up Franziska Schömbs of Elektrotechnik Elektronik, who finished in 19:51. Claudia Dreher of Dynavia was third in 20:04.
“It was my fourth victory in a row," Schultz said. "I am totally happy to have beaten the magical 19:00 minute figure at the Corporate Challenge. I am a triathlete and have therefore not trained or prepared specifically for this event. The 5,6 kilometers go by in absolutely no time."
Among the teams that gathered from across Germany, Commerzbank had the largest squad with 1,856 entrants, followed by German Lufthansa with 1,214 and Deutsche Bank with 1,212.
Lufthansa’s passion for the Corporate Challenge is visible each day. It launched an initiative “Lufthanseaten run!” in 2009 where employees from all across the globe can make arrangements via a Web platform to make appointments to run together, exchange pictures and report on related experiences. It all culminates in the firm’s Corporate Challenge participation, with many employees flying in from locations around the world.
It is appropriate here to point out here that the first Corporate Challenge in Frankfurt — held in June, 1993 — had 527 participants total.
Now described in marketing campaigns locally as the “Friendly Competition,” the Corporate Challenge is popular among the working masses for its message of mutual respect, communication and togetherness within a company.
Top finishers gather for the awards ceremony following the race.
“It works in the German culture so well because of the emphasis on team and doing something successful and fun together,” said Altenburg. “It’s become a phenomenon.”
Eintracht Frankfurt Fußball AG, an elite soccer club, embodies the team spirit. It entered 17 runners, each of whom received an Eintracht Frankfurt game jersey, emblazoned with the number of their choice and name.
“As we are a sports club, this is a perfect event for us in terms of fitness and also awareness-building,” said team captain Ariane Bechtold. “We organize three to four training dates, two of which are obligatory, and it builds excitement leading into the event. And we are proud to wear our jerseys at the race and show our pride in the club.”
CGW Rechtsanwälte (Law Society) was participating in its first Corporate Challenge. The Göttingen law firm advises several real estate funds managed from Frankfurt and was motivated by its clients, whose employees are also running in the race.
“The runners of our clients provide us with motivation and we really looked forward to joining them in this race,” says Marc Cziesielsky, attorney and team captain. “I trained hard to run for time, and some of my colleagues were more fun-focused and just entered for the joy of it. It was a perfect mix.”
Also stepping into the winner's circle were three companies recognized for their creative efforts. The City of Frankfurt Sportamt (Sports Department of the City), food company Nestlé, and pharmaceutical firm Axicorps won the T-Shirt Design Contest.
To get even more details from the 19th annual J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge in Frankfurt, please visit our German site at www.jpmcccc.de. To be engaged with the Corporate Challenge’s social network, become a “fan” at www.facebook.com/frankfurtcorporatechallenge.