Green Runners Week: with the Covid-19, the Paris marathon is reinventing itself


Eight o’clock in the morning, Monday April 5, Georges-Valbon park in La Courneuve (Seine-Saint-Denis), It is only 4 ° C on the thermometer but not enough to cool Stéphane. “This morning, I did a little three-kilometer warm-up, he says. Then I did a 21 km half marathon in 1 hour 50 minutes. “ The Paris marathon in connected mode started on Monday. The race adapts to the health restrictions linked to the Covid-19 epidemic and gives way to Green runners week. Runners must download a (free) app on their phone and have one week to run the 42,195 km.

The objective is not only sporty, the joggers can also collect the waste which is on their way. We call it “plogging”. Stéphane’s race is precisely interrupted by a few cleaning stops. “I find a first bag, another next in paper, a wipe, then a tissue, lists the jogger. Fortunately we have gloves! I put everything in the plastic bag, it allows me to then put in the trash. “

For Tina, it will be this weekend and with the family: “In the forest and in Paris too, there is a lot of waste. I find that everyone has their responsibilities. I was just thinking about going out next weekend with my kids and running around picking up trash. “

Even if the challenge is virtual, several joggers meet to run together. Bérénice and Gérard do not have quite the same objectives. “Running a marathon is an even more important goal. It’s a challenge on yourself”, describes Berenice. “We are a bit competitive at heart. So every time we have a bib, we want to do a perf”, explains Gérard.

Green Runners Week also offers one ecological challenge per day. Nathalie has already planned everything. “Tomorrow is a race in Vincennes, she explains. I change place. I like to change places so that it is not monotonous. The action that must be taken tomorrow is to travel without public transport, not to use cars. Me, I’ll take the scooter. “

An à la carte race that appeals to a new audience, explains Edouard Cassignol, director at Amaury sport organization: “This very flexible virtual race. You can run 5 km on Monday, then 15 km on Wednesday, then again maybe 10 km on Thursday, and so on. This is something we wanted to be as accessible. ” At the moment, there are 55,000 participants. The goal is to equal the 60,000 in the 2019 marathon. The Paris marathon “in physics” is postponed to October 17.

Due to Covid-19, a connected and distant marathon: report by Marine Clette

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