BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) -- Delaware Park in Buffalo was packed for the 30th Annual JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge during Thursday evening. Nearly 11,500 participants from hundreds of local companies showed up for the 3.5 mile race. "This year we're back up to levels that we haven't seen in a few years," race coordinator Dan Loncto said. "We have more teams... than we've ever had before. We have 405 company teams and close to 300 company tents."
At the starting line Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown and Erie County Executive Chris Collins helped kick off the race. After 17 minutes and 40 seconds of running, Chris Muldoon finished, taking first place for males for a fourth year in a row. "When I came across the turn and saw that it was still in the mid 17's, I was like wow I didn't think we were running that fast," Muldoon said.
Just two minutes later Maura Frauenhofer finished, taking first place for females. It's the first time she has ever run this race. "I'm used to 5K's which is 3.1 miles so the last .4 of this, definitely felt it," Frauenhofer said.
After all the runners finished it was time for the post race party where people hung out and had a great time under all the tents. "It's a chance for people to do something with people they work with but not do it at work," Loncto said. "Once they get out here... they actually run the race and then they come back and have a terrific party."
While some look to take part in the 3.5 mile race, others look at the event as the ultimate summer networking party. Close to 300 corporate tents are pitched in Delaware Park, where post race parties will begin as runners return after the 6:45pm start.
Race Organizer Bob Ryan told Eyewitness News the race is important in part because the charitable donations made to area organizations are so significant.
The Chase Corporate Challenge in Buffalo has grown by 15% over 2009, and is one of the top Challenges staged by Chase in the nation.