A half-hearted Olympic rehearsal: Paris held its first marathon of the year

The route of the annual race was far from that of the Games and only coincided with a six-kilometer stretch along the Seine; with few figures, the victories came for Ethiopians who had never won.

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First marathon of the year in Paris
First marathon of the year in Paris

The 47th annual marathon, the first of the year in Paris, took place this Sunday morning with a route that lasted just six kilometers coinciding with those that runners will travel in the Olympic Games during the last two days of competition.

With a starting and finishing point a few meters away from the Arc de Triomphe, unlike the Olympic route that will start at the Paris City Hall and end on the Esplanade of the Invalids, both the men’s and women’s races experienced first-time winners: far from the competition records, the Ethiopians Mulugeta Uma (2:05:33), with the best personal time, and Mestawut Fikir (2:20:45), in their first participation in a marathon, celebrated on a circuit without major status, lacking renowned athletes and He also saw the world champion of paratriathlon and Olympic runner-up in Rio Geert Schipper, in the Netherlands, in the wheelchair category.

After the victory, Uma, who beat Kenyans Titus Kipruto (eighth in the last World Championship) in 13 seconds and Elisha Rotich (owner of the competition record), described her first place as a “surprise” and was shocked to note that “four days ago it wasn’t good and I wasn’t sure if I could start”.

“Winning my first marathon is incredible, I loved this race,” said newcomer Fikir, who won a very tight final sprint with her compatriot Enatnesh Tirusew, whom she defeated two seconds apart. Vivian Cheruiyot, one of the most prestigious athletes of this edition, completed the podium in the 5,000 m and world champion in the 10,000 m.

Apart from the traditional official men’s and women’s competitions, to be held on Saturday, August 10 and Sunday, August 11, respectively, Paris 2024 will innovate with the “Marathon for All” proposal on Saturday night, in which 20,024 amateur athletes will travel the same route as the official races or a shortened version of 10 kilometers.

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