working Road race: “Our sport has become old fashioned” – running

Ouray – Vannes Half Marathon, Sunday (10am)

This phenomenon is not new: road races are becoming less and less attractive, pelotons melting like snow in the sun. Jean-Claude Le Boulicat, organizer of Ouray-Vaness, whose 48th edition will take place on Sunday, notes this bitterly. With 2,700 entries in the half marathon and just 500 entries in the 10km, this is a far cry from the standards of the Morbihan Classic’s glory years. “We’re in freefall…”

“They are happy when they are finishers”

The organizers know the reasons. “Since the Covid crisis, people have been playing sports differently. Today’s athletes no longer need restraints. They rejoice when they finish a race. The clock is of no interest to them.

Dominique Chauvelier, a marathon runner in the 1980s and 90s, makes the same observation: “We live in a society where we take care of ourselves, but we don’t want to tear ourselves apart and hurt ourselves. Why do competitions? We want to have fun. »

“We should replace speakers with DJs”

If he is not tendering with former French international riders, he is not with the organizers. “They haven’t questioned each other for several years. Some races haven’t changed in 30 years: it’s the same village, the same organizers, the same music at the start and finish. »

Drawing facts is one thing, proposing solutions is another. Jean-Claude Le Bolicaut recognizes his weakness. “How to stop the phenomenon? Of course I wonder, but I don’t have the recipe. If I had it, I would apply it.

Dominique Chauvelier is not short of ideas. “Today we want to have fun, rock and crackers. We need DJs instead of speakers. Our sport has become old-fashioned,” he says, citing as a good student the 10km in Paris, a race that brings together 17,000 people in an atmosphere worthy of the beaches of Ibiza.

Good recipe for Corrida de Langueux

Gwenal Vigot, organizer of a walking event in Brest in the 1990s and former manager of Kenyan runners, had trouble understanding the road runners’ discontent. “Running purists fight trails, they don’t come to road races. I do not understand “.

In Langueux, Michel Aubault is doing very well. His corrida scheduled for June is not missing any registrations. “This year, we’re at the same figure as before 2019.” His recipe? Competitions in the city center, as the final bouquet, a very high level event that attracts the public. All in a festive atmosphere.

Costa Ricans are somewhat concerned about the future of pedestrian events, believing there are plenty. “When I was president of non-stadium matches in Cotes-d’Armor there were 40 matches. Today there are 120…”

Vanes innovates with a nightly event

So how does racing go well? By innovating and offering a unique concept. A good example is the Brest Urban Trail, which allows you to discover the mythical places of Brest. The event, scheduled for a third edition in 2023, sold out in 2017 and 2019.

Another idea that works well is events where we move to raise funds to fight a disease. In Brittany, La Vannetaise, La Lorientaise or Odysséa at Relecq, the three involved in the prevention and treatment of female cancer are a hit every year, offering not only a run but also a walk and a big event.

Other organizers have offered events in the mud with obstacles to overcome. There are also time-limited competitions where contestants are sprinkled with colored powder. The goal is to have fun with friends.

Renewing itself and playing the card of originality is what Vanessa wants to do with the marathon programming, and for the first time, the day before the marathon, its 10km. Night matches will be held. Will the light shine from the night? Reply October 15.


Sunday : 5km La Breche (Aradon) – 9am Vanes; 10km Aradon – Venice 9:10am; Nordic walking 10 km Aradón – Vannes 9:15am; 21.100 km Ouray – Venice 10 am.

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