Three, two, one, Go and have fun! The Principality of Monaco has just celebrated a nice weekend where to practice sport outdoor to feel better physically and mentally, based on the best sporting values as for a good cause. Monaco Run, at its ninth edition, has become a reference point both for international professionals and amateurs that would like to experience a set of marathons and foot races in the evocative setting of Quai Albert 1er in Port Hercules, overlooked by the Prince’s Palace.
On the 15th and 16th February 2020, Monaco Run’s hospitality area has become a true meeting place for hundreds of people of any age and nationality, united by their common sporty spirit. This event, in fact, organized by the Monegasque Athletics Federation has increased its popularity more and more, during the various editions, even among Olympic athletes like Julien Wanders and Sifan Hassan, undisputed winners of 2019 5km run.
On Saturday, the 1,000 metres involved everyone, from 8 years old up, who would like to test their performance at different times, emulating his preferred champions. On Sunday morning, the City Rail went on a longer 10km urban distance covering symbolic places towards Louis II Stadium and a jump up to the rocky Monaco Ville. Finally, the most intriguing 5km Herculis started in a blaze of glory where speed and endurance matter for the delight of the most experienced runners.
The world record
The 23-year-old multi-awarding champion Joshua Cheptegei from Uganda set the world record completing the race circuit in 12’51’’ only.
“It is very important to prepare your mind to the challenge, if you succeed in doing it you can face any situation”, pointed out Cheptegei – “it is my first time in Monaco and I find all this absolutely fantastic”, he added to HelloMonaco.
Jimmy Gressier, European Cross-Country Champion from France, was second, finishing the race in 13’18’’. “It was not easy but I got it”, highlighted Gressier – “I do believe that this sport is one of the toughest being an individual test in comparison with others”.
The French long-distance record woman runner, Liv Westphal, conquered the podium on women’s category concluding the route in 15’31’’.
“It was an intense trial from beginning to end but it was worth it”, stressed Westphal – “Running in Monaco, just by the sea is something almost idyllic”.
The charitable walk
Last but not least, the charitable 2020 Pink Ribbon 5km Walk to fight women’s breast cancer, unexpectedly kicked off by the Sovereign Prince and led by H.E. Stéphane Valeri, President of the National Council, to express their solidarity with this crucial cause.
“It is essential to take part to this meaningful race to be close to ladies affected by this serious disease”, stated exclusively to HelloMonaco, H.E. Didier Gamerdinger, Minister of Health and Social Services at Gouvernement Princier – “Pink Ribbon Walk is the most special occasion to invite all women, both globally and in the Principality, to make a regular check-up in order to prevent this pathology” – “but it is also a sign of solidarity towards whom who suffer from”, “the more we talk about it the better is”, he concluded.
Since its birth, in fact, all funds collected within this context have been redistributed to research and screening medical centres, corner stones in the fight against this modern evil.
“We have been organizing Pink Ribbon in Monaco for nine years with the aim to bring women sick of any sort of cancer together and create a strong support around them”, underlined Natasha Frost-Savio, President and Founder of Pink Ribbon Monaco.
So, how did 2020 Monaco Run go? HelloMonaco asked to Didier Boinon (D.B.), race director in charge of the whole management.
HelloMonaco: Mr. Boinon, what is the outcome of this edition?
D.B.: It was definitely a huge success following the 2019 win-win edition. A new man world record was achieved as well as European in men’s and women’s category. What more to add?! Moreover, we have seen an increase in participants compared to last year in terms of 50% in the 5km run and 20% in the City Rail plus a well appreciated attendance in the rest of trials.
HelloMonaco: What do you expect from the future?
D.B.: The Monegasque Athletics Federation has been continuously focusing on improvements and if we succeed in doing even better, everybody will be happy.