9TH ECOTRAIL DE PARIS - NICOLAS DUHAIL WINS THE 80 KM TRAIL RACE, SYLVAINE CUSSOT FIRST LADY TO FINISH AT THE EIFFEL TOWER.
Paris, Saturday 19 March 2016 - The first day of competitions in 9th EcoTrail de Paris have concluded successfully. EcoTrail de Paris is a series of timed and recreational events including a vertical race in the famous Eiffel Tower and an 80-kilometre trail run on the outskirts of Paris with a finish in the city centre. The project was born out of the organisers' desire to create a cross-country race in an urban environment allowing participants to discover nature and local cultural heritage sites in an eco-friendly manner close to the city.
Nicolas Duhail was the fastest runner in today's 80-kilometer trail race. The Frenchman managed to complete the race in 05:25:27. After climbing a series of stairs to the unique finish on the 1st floor of the famous Eiffel Tower Nicolas said: "It was a good race, I am very tired, but it is an honor to win here in front of Yoann Stuck and Emmanuel Gault, two big athletes. I ran the 30-kilometre race in 2014 and 2015 and now for the first time the 80-kilometre trail. The terrain on the outskirts of Paris suits me well, I live in the area and am used to the rolling hills. The grand finale in the Eiffel Tower was tough, instead of running I had to take the stairs step-by-step and pull myself up using both hands".
The quickest with the ladies to finish in the heart of the city of Paris was Sylvaine Cussot from France. She set a time of 06:49:59. Marion Delage (07:01:49) and Sylvie Hascoet (07:02:29), both from France, completed the podium.
The runners left St. Quentin-en-Yvelines at 12:15 on a mostly unpaved route on the paths and tracks of the Ile-de-France. The course passed the Domaine de St Philip Meudon Observatory and other point-of-interest including the National Domaine Saint Cloud, the Estate Forests of Versailles, the L'ile Saint Germain and Le Champ de Mars and concluded with a spectacular finish on the Eiffel Tower's first floor.
More than 1750 participants took part in the 80 km race. Weather conditions were calm but a bit cold with 4 degrees centigrade and a light haze.
"With more than 90 per cent of the route on unpaved tracks, the 'Trail 80 km' is the ultimate way to discover nature and cultural heritage in the proximity of the city of Paris by foot." said EcoTrail organiser Jean-Charles Perrin, after the races.
"It was a busy day" he concluded. "The event started early this morning and managing more than 10.000 people is not an easy task. But when you see the smiles on their faces, hear how enthusiastic they speak about their races or the pleasure they had discovering the countryside and parks near the city it gives you a lot of energy to do this all again next year".
"Each race has its character and specificities and hence attracts a different audience. The 80 kilometer with the finish in the Eiffel Tower is something special. You can see people climbing the stairs to the finish with a big smile. The 30 kilometer is much more focused on people who discover the trails and the competition element. The sometimes arrive a bit exhausted but with the pleasure to have a finish. You see them looking at the Eiffel Tower and thinking 'oh gosh, how do the other runners do this?' The 50 kilometer, on the other hand, has a start at the Chateau de Versailles, I love that place, it is so beautiful! And people love the 18-kilometer race because of the Domaine St. Cloud; it is like an open-air museum. It is all green, it smells differently than the city, and you get the sense of history. It is enjoyable to see the reaction of our runners discovering the green parks so close to the city. Each race has it's personality and could exist on its own".
"Let's not forget that we have one more day of events tomorrow. Today is the day of competition, but many people don't like competition, it is not important to them. They can be part of the event without the pressure of competition. Just for the pleasure of being part of it and being able to move their body, to discover the region from a different viewpoint. These hikes and Nordic Walks help people to be part of the event for fun and without the element of competition".
"The next EcoTrail event is on the 21st of May in Oslo, Norway. After the summer, on 26 September we have EcoTrail de Brussels followed by Madeira and Madrid. It is great to see that our formula works, and people are interesting to duplicate the scheme we created in Paris were tried to highlight that every city has a green aspect".
TRAIL 50 KM
For the second longest race of the day, the 'Trail 50 km', some 1300 runners lined up at the start in the heart of the 'Domaine du Château de Versailles' this morning.
Frenchman Xavier Picoul finished the 50-kilometre race in a time of 03:32:26, twenty seconds ahead of Luca Carrara from Italy (03:32:46). Sylvere Pruvost (FRA) arrived in third (03:33:31).
Caroline Lafaye (FRA, 04:09:12) won the 50-kilometre ladies race. Cécile Lefebvre (FRA) arrived in the second position (04:14:30) followed by Aurore Canino in third (04:21:28).
TRAIL 30 KM
No fewer than 2500 participants started this morning from the 'avenue du Château' at the 'Meudon' to take part in the 30-kilometer trail competition.
A group of four French runners formed 10 kilometres before the finish line. After 30 kilometres the runners jointly crossed the line resulting in a shared first position for Régis Durand, Geoffroy Sarran, Hamid Belhaj and Yoan Morange (02:01:41).
With the ladies Garance BLAUT from France finished the race in 02:14:44 before Virginie SOENEN from Belgium (02:20:39) and Magali MOREAU (FRA, 02:21:41).
TRAIL 18 KM
The 'Trail 18 km' also started from Meudon this morning. Almost 2000 runners competed for first place, but it was David Binet who finished first in a time of 01:13:59 ahead of Julien Corriaux (01:14:09) and Stéphane Moreau (FRA, 01:18:54). With the ladies, it was Lucie Bouquet (01:31:06) grabbing the title ahead of Lucile Chailloux (FRA, 01:32:43) and Cecile Lennoz Gratin (FRA, 01:35:06)
30 KM NORDIC WALK
Finally, Meudon also welcomed almost 250 participants taking part in the timed 30 kilometers Nordic Walk. Michel Casassus (FRA) won the race in 03:25:44. Cyrille Gury (FRA) took second in a time of 03:26:31 and third was Bart Aben (NED, 03:33:29). Muriel Neuman was the first lady to finish the timed Nordic Walk. She reached the finish in a time of 03:38:19. Christiane Salvi followed (03:44:52) and third place was captured by Marine Delaume (03:47:08).
ECO-TRAIL CONTINUES ON SUNDAY
The Eco-Trail de Paris events continue tomorrow. The Saturday is devoted to performance and timed events; but tomorrow, on Sunday, everyone is invited to participate and discover the local Paris nature and heritage sites.
A variety of recreational and sportive hikes and walks starting from different Ile-de-France departments are on the programme; participants can select any of these events to enjoy nature at their pace. Many of the planned courses take little-known tracks and paths before arriving at the 'Destinations Nature Show' at Porte de Versailles.
A total of 13.000 participants is expected to participate in the EcoTrail de Paris races and events.