The 45th edition of the iconic 20km of Paris witnessed a breathtaking race through the heart of the French capital, showcasing elite athletes at their best. The event, sponsored by France 3 Paris Île-de-France, attracted 25,500 participants from across the globe, with the elite category taking center stage.
The race kicked off early in the morning under clear skies, with runners gathering at the starting line, eager to test their endurance and speed on the picturesque streets of Paris. The race provides an opportunity to observe the stunning monuments and history of the city.
In the spirit of giving back, this year’s race donated its proceeds to the “Le Rire Médecin” association, which supports children in hospitals by bringing joy and laughter into their lives. Actor Gérard Jugnot, a sponsor of the association, was present alongside the organizers to support this cause.
The elite runners, consisting of 200 men and 100 women, were all eager to claim victory in their respective categories.
The leading pack of elites, including defending champion Yann Schrub, set off with an aggressive pace.
The course posed a unique challenge for the competitors with its historic cobblestones and scenic landmarks. A leading trio consisting of Elvis Chebor Tabarach and William Kibor, both of Kenya, and Hassan Chahdi of France, broke away early in the race.
They demonstrated remarkable speed and determination, maintaining a blistering pace of around 20km/h through the 10k mark.
As the runners reached the halfway point, they passed through the beautiful Bagatelle garden, offering a serene contrast to the city’s bustling streets. The Basque pelota fronton, with the date “1924” etched on its wall, served as a reminder of the rich Olympic history of this sport.
Lydia Korir led the way in the women’s race, showcasing her formidable talent. Meanwhile, on the men’s side, Chahdi and Tabarach began to create a gap between them and Kibor, but it wouldn’t last
The race’s final kilometers brought even more excitement as the runners passed iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower. With just three kilometers remaining, it seemed possible that the 2005 record of 57:19 set by Kenyan Evans Kiprop Cheruiyot could be broken.
Elvis Chebor Tabarach crossed the finish line in 57 minutes and 31 seconds, narrowly edging out Hassan Chahdi to secure victory in a dramatic finish. Sondre Nordstad Moen from Norway claimed the third spot on the podium.
On the women’s side, Gladys Jemaiyo set a new Elite women’s course record, completing the race in an impressive 1 hour, 4 minutes, and 29 seconds. The previous women’s course record was 1:05:01.
Hassan Chahdi, reflecting on his performance, expressed his satisfaction, saying, “I didn’t manage to hold on, but I’m very happy with this second place.”
As the professionals concluded their race, thousands of amateur runners of all ages and abilities continued to pour in, demonstrating the inclusive spirit of the event. Notably, the oldest participant this year was an impressive 88 years old.
Gladys Jemaiyo’s record-breaking performance added an unforgettable highlight to this year’s 20km of Paris. The event once again proved its significance as a celebration of athleticism, history, and unity in the heart of the City of Light.