from the Paris City Hall to the Invalides via the Palace of Versailles … The route of the Olympic Games marathon unveiled

His journey will probably go down in history. The 2024 Paris Olympic Games marathon, which will take place on 10 and 11 August 2024, will follow a Paris-Versailles path back and forth, announced the Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games (Cojo), Wednesday 5 October. “This unique course will be spectacular and challenging”, the Cojo exulted. “ORn will link sporting history to a part of the history of France “, adds Alain Blondel, creator of a route that will touch the most famous monuments of Paris and its western suburbs.

The departure will be given by the City Hall of Paris for a start of the journey in the heart of the most beautiful monuments of the capital. Marathon runners will pass by rue de Rivoli, then by that of the Louvre to arrive at the place de la Bourse and then go around the Opéra Garnier. They will then have to take rue de la Paix to reach place Vendôme, before crossing the Louvre at the Carousel and its Pyramid. The 160 athletes at the start (80 men, 80 women) will then take the quays of the Seine, will pass under the Pont de la Concorde as well as under the Pont de l’Alma, and will reach the Trocadéro from above with a first view of the Eiffel tower . The route will send them to Boulogne-Billancourt, after passing the Porte de Saint-Cloud. After passing the bridge and the town hall of Sèvres, it will become more complex.

A 4km climb in Ville-d’Avray will take the runners to 183m, the highest point of the race, before dropping them about 1km to get to the Palace of Versailles. At this historic point, and after 23km of running, the marathon runners will take the avenue de Paris, with the castle in the background.

From there, you will have to go through the towns of Viroflay and Chaville. Another difficulty awaits the athletes: for 900 meters, the competitors will face the climb of the Pavé des Gardes, with a maximum gradient of 13.5%. At the 30th kilometer the athletes will start the descent, “with a very delicate passage at 13.4% to arrive in Issy-les-Moulineaux at the 32nd kilometer”, indicates Alain Blondel, the manager of athletics and para-athletics within Paris 2024 and at the origin of the course.

The route of the Paris 2024 Games marathon will start from the Paris city hall to arrive at the Esplanade des Invalides.  (Paris 2024)

In the remaining 10 km, the athletes will take the direction of the Iron Lady, before joining the avenue du Bourdonnay, the avenue de Breteuil, then the roundabout of the avenue de Breteuil, before starting the last line to the right of this route to Les Invalides. The arrival will be from the south at the Esplanade des Invalides, in front of 7,000 to 7,500 spectators.

“The strategic and technical management of this path will be a completely different challenge from what athletes and coaches are currently experiencing. They will be presented with a difficulty they have never faced.”

Alain Blondel, manager of athletics and para-athletics in Paris 2024

to franceinfo: sport

“It is a course that we take completely, adds Alain Blondel. We came out of the classic marathon context with a time and a world record. The Olympic champion and the champion may not be the fastest but they will be the strongest because there will be very delicate sequences and it will be a challenge to prepare for them. “

The president of the organizing committee of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, Tony Estanguet, emphasizes the location of the women's marathon, which will be the last Olympic event of these Games, but also the historical and symbolic significance of the marathon course.

This course was especially praised by Paula Radcliffe, female world record holder between 2003 and 2019: “With its unique profile, the Paris Marathon 2024 represents a great sporting challenge for athletes, in a sumptuous setting. This race, more uncertain than ever, promises to be legendary “. A “mythical” path that the general public can try also through the marathon for all, accessible to the general public, and aimed at the able-bodied and disabled.

“I think this course will go down in the history of the Olympics”, assures Alain Blondel, at the origin of a path not chosen at random. “We wanted a course with something more, that would tell a story and make sense”, comments Aurélie Merle, director of sports competitions within Paris 2024.

It is with this in mind that the organizers sought their inspiration in the history of France. “The path is inspired by one of the founding elements of our history, which is the women’s march, which took place on 5 and 6 October 1789”, explains Aurélie Merle. In those days, merchants, shopkeepers and workers from the working-class suburbs gather in front of the Hôtel de Ville in Paris to ask for bread, while the capital is hit by food shortages. Between 6,000 and 7,000 Parisian women, flanked by men, pass through Paris, to go to Versailles to claim bread and reforms from the king, and push him to return to Paris. On that day, Louis XVI agreed to ratify the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizens. The 5 and 6 October 1789 are therefore part of the “great days” of the French Revolution.

“This revolutionary, popular and feminist march is in line with the vision of Paris 2024, where we want Revolutionary Games”.

Aurélie Merle, director of sports competitions within Paris 2024

to franceinfo: sport

“Attracting the spotlight on women has been part of the DNA of Paris 2024 from the very beginning, in particular through our emblem (the Marianne), or through the organization of the first joint Games in history”, continues Aurélie Merle. Furthermore, in this same logic, the organizers have decided, with the agreement of World Athletics (the International Athletics Federation), which the women’s marathon, in the Olympic program since 1984, it closes the athletics competitions on the last Sunday of the Games. The final podium of the Olympic Games, during the closing ceremony, will therefore be in honor of the marathon runners, a first.

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