9 questions to discover a marathon : Marathonion

20 Jul 2008 23:00
Jean-Loup Fenaux
Interview Focus on a race

Maxime Breton, a member of the Pays Viganais Endurance Nature association has accepted to answer my questions to present the Marathonion. His marathon association whose members are trail and raid runners decided to organize a mountain marathon in the valleys of the Cévennes (in southern France).

marathonion 1

1) Hello, on August 3rd 2008 you’ll be organizing the Marathonion. Can you tell us where it is located?
The Marathonion is a mountain marathon, located on the foot of Mount Aigoual, in the heart of the Cévennes. The start and the Finish line are located in Saint-André de Majencoules (a village in the Gard).

2) It’s the second edition of the race. Why was it created in the first place?
This marathon is organized by an Onion producing cooperative (Coopérative Origine Cévennes) and by the Pays Viganais Endurance Nature association (which also organizes La course aux étoiles, a 64km Trail race).
The idea bursted when a group of running farmers met members of my association. We both share this will to promote our beautiful area through a running race. There came the idea to organize a race that would run through the countryside, shapes by the onion growing.

3) What kind of route have you set up for the runners? How would you describe it?
85% of the route is composed of roads and 15% of trails. With a 800m elevation gain, it follows the roads drawn in the valleys of the Cévennes. The fist part mainly goes up and the second one down. The full description and also photos of the route are available on our web site.

4) How many runners do you expect on Sunday morning? What type of runners do you plan to attract?
We expect more than 200 runners. The race draws local runners, experienced runners who prepare big competitions as well as tourists who are pleased to take part in such events during their holidays.

5) Do you organize other races during the Week-End? If so, on what distances?
For the runners who don’t have sufficient training or capabilities to run the full 42km, we also organize a 2 runner relay. Each runner runs 21 km. The exchange point is at half race, on the highest point of the route.

Marathonion 2

6) At that time of the year, what kind of weather can we expect?
Dry and hot. This is why the start is 7:00 AM so that the runners don’t have to run during the warmest hours of the day. However, the runners will find shaded zones during the second half of the race. It should protect them a little from the heat.

7) Have you planned festivities around the marathon?
We will organize a little hiking during the race. It will start from the village and allow the spectators to discover the area. In addition, an after-race meal, where local goods will be served will be held in the courtyard of the Saint-André de Majencoules castle.

8 ) The marathon finished, what advice would you give a runner who has never been to Saint-André de Majencoules before? A good restaurant, a fancy sightseeing?
The area attracts many tourists : the race is ran at the foot of Mount Aigoual which is located in the Cévenne National park. A few kilometers away can be found the Navacelles Circus and the beautiful valley through which the Vis river runs.

9) In a single sentence, what would you tell the readers of 42k195 to make them register for the Marathonion ?
Come and take part in a mountain marathon where friendliness and the fiesta spirit won’t make you forget the beauty of the route.

Thank you Maxime.

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