Paris 2024 is entering the home stretch: in less than six months, the boats carrying the different delegations will parade on the Seine during the opening ceremony. And, for participants in the Marathon for All, it’s time to prepare. At least the lucky 35,000 or so who have already obtained a bib.

Interspersed between the men’s and women’s marathons of the Olympic Games, this event consists of two races, open to the general public, which will take place on the evening of August 10. The first follows the 42.195 kilometers of the Olympic course. The second offers a shorter and more accessible format – 10 kilometers – in the heart of the capital. In total, 40,048 chasubles will be distributed, or 20,024 for each meeting; a nod to the year of the Games. A number well below the very high demand, which inevitably left some disappointed.

Director of Paris 2024 engagement, Romain Lachens, welcomed “a fairly incredible popular enthusiasm”. The lucky winners were selected from among the 400,000 runners who managed to accumulate more than 100,000 points through running challenges, as part of the Paris 2024 Club or the Marathon pour tous application, as of December 31, 2023 “We rewarded regularity, diligence and track record,” explains the manager.

According to him, “more than 4.7 million people” have become members of the Paris 2024 Club, particularly with the aim of winning one of the precious bibs. This participatory platform of the Organizing Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, launched in July 2020, allows Internet users to receive information about the Olympic Games, participate in sporting challenges and win all kinds of rewards.

Personalized support for athletes with disabilities

A quarter of marathon participants will attempt this distance for the first time. The typical profile at this stage? “A 38-year-old runner, who lives in France,” explains Cojo – but 18% of participants live abroad, in 110 different countries. “We have been harassed by requests, from people who dream of being able to be part of this exceptional adventure,” testified Tony Estanguet, the president of Paris 2024, at a press conference on January 31. After France, the United States forms the largest contingent, and Belgium completes the podium with a strictly equal distribution – having as many women as men was one of the organizers’ ambitions.

The elders of the “MPT” will be respectively 83 years old, for women, and 92 years old, for men, but will compete in the 10 km. The 42 km route is particularly demanding, with an elevation gain of 438 meters, something rare in a marathon. “With slopes close to 13.5%, it’s going to be difficult,” underlined Aurélie Merle, Director of Sports for Paris 2024, at a press conference. Increased difficulties for people with disabilities – the Paralympic Olympic marathon does not take the same route – so the French Athletics Federation and the organizers of the Games will offer adapted training plans. Personalized support was offered to all participants with disabilities, in order to best organize their participation in the race, whether it involves the presence of a companion or the use of personal equipment.

On the big day, participants will be accompanied, and will be able to draw inspiration, from big names in sport in the starting area – eight will be lined up for each of the events. Among them, the former biathlete Martin Fourcade, the former tennis player Amélie Mauresmo, the double Olympic triathlon champion, the British Alistair Brownlee, and the quadruple Olympic wheelchair tennis medalist Michaël Jérémiasz.

The approximately 5,000 bibs still available must be allocated in the coming weeks by the official partner and supplier Orange – responsible, among other things, for equipping the Olympic sites with very high speed and managing electronic ticketing –, in its stores or through its dedicated Instagram account via competitions and races. As for those who fail to obtain one of the precious keys, they will still be able to take part – a little – in the Games. Paris 2024 aims to break the record for the largest connected race in the world by inviting those who wish to run for a minimum of thirty minutes on August 10, alone, in a group, indoors or outdoors, in Paris or in the provinces, via the Marathon pour tous application.