Can the Paris Marathon take place in October?

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Can the Paris Marathon take place in October?


<span class = "image" data-attrib = "AFP" data-caption = "The 65,000 participants in the Paris marathon, postponed to October, are in the dark. Bad weather for road races.

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© AFP
The 65,000 participants in the Paris marathon, postponed to October, are in the dark. Bad weather for road races.


Half-marathon postponed to September 6, Paris Breakfast Run postponed to October 17 and especially the Marathon to 18… Since these announcements in early March, under the effect of Covid-19, it’s radio silence at Amaury Sport Organization (ASO), also at the controls of the Tour de France. Will the 42,195 kilometers be run? “Even when you call senior management, you can’t get any information. They don’t want to get wet,” notes Dominique Chauvelier, a hexagonal reference on the distance.

Wait and watch the others fall. This week, the Dublin marathon said goodbye to 2020. The London marathon, moved to October 4, is thinking of a race reserved for the elite, on the model of Tokyo and its 200 starters in March. Berlin (September 27) hesitates between postponement and cancellation. “Given the context, I do not see how Paris can keep its schedule,” said the organizer of a French event.

Should we reduce the airfoil?

Difficult to make more exposed than these mass gatherings where sweat and postilions play with touches for hours on end. With a record of 65,000 registered and 150 countries represented, the second world marathon, behind NewYork, rests on a full cash since the organization has chosen not to reimburse the bibs (around 100 euros per unit), only to donate them. Ditto for the half-marathon, including Patrick Pelloux had to start on 1 March. The doctor and columnist did not give in to skepticism: “The fear of a second wave seems to be disappearing. If there are no more outbreaks at the end of August, the marathon can take place.”

In the hollow, the question arises of the gigantism of such events, a reflection of the practitioners’ curve (eight to ten million regular runners in France). Will it be wiser to reduce the airfoil, or even favor local races? Dominique Chauvelier thinks so: “We are running on our heads! In Paris, the first has already happened that the last has not yet started. At the 20km, everyone is still walking on it.”

Patrick Pelloux sees this as a false problem. “Whether it’s 5,000 or 50,000, you just need to have a case and it’s contaminating. And then it would be very difficult to detect the runners as you can do with a football team; not to mention the spaces to respect, which would suppose a delusional organization. Perhaps one will end up inventing masks allowing to run. For the moment, it is necessary to learn to live with the disease and to be patient. The races will resume. ”

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