Geneva gets ready to run on Marathon time

Geneva got ready to welcome thousands of runners as the Harmony Geneva Marathon for Unicef got underway with the first day of the Marathon village in the Jardin Anglais today. With eight race formats on offer for runners of all ages and abilities, everyone is ready for a sunny weekend of racing.

Located in the Jardin Anglais in the heart of Geneva, the Marathon Village opened its doors at 10am this morning, for runners to come and collect their precious bib and official event t-shirt designed by Compressport. Open from 10am to 7pm today and from 9am to 6pm tomorrow, the Marathon Village is the place to be over the next 48 hours to enjoy the many activities, stands and partner offers available. There’s food and drink on offer as well, with 12 different food trucks offering something to everyone’s taste.

The excitement for the weekend ahead was palpable, Tracie Gardner who recently moved to Geneva shared her thoughts with us after admiring the finisher’s medals on display in the Marathon Village, “I recently moved to Geneva and I’m really excited to get involved with an event in town,” she said. “I’m used to running long distances but usually run off-road on trail races. This is my first Marathon on the road, so I’m motivated and ready to go for Sunday, we’ll see how it goes!”

Warm weather and sunny skies are scheduled for the weekend, as temperatures will rise to 200C for runners to enjoy perfect conditions during their race. The Geneva countryside and city will be resplendent for runners to appreciate as they complete the challenge they set themselves on their respective races on the shores of Lake Geneva.

The first races to get underway will be the Junior Races at 4pm on Saturday, before 1500 women take to the streets of Geneva for the Genevoise #LikeAGirl by Always followed by the 10km race as the sun sets on Lake Geneva on Saturday evening. On Sunday morning, 6,200 runners will take part in the Half-Marathon alongside 4 wheelchair athletes. Setting off from Chêne-Bourg, they will be followed just over an hour later by 2,300 runners and 350 relay teams who set off to complete the full 42.195km of the Marathon distance.

In the Kyd family, everyone is taking part in the Harmony Geneva Marathon for Unicef this weekend, each family-member having found a distance to suit them, “We’re all taking part this weekend, we love coming back to this race every year as a family!” said Anne, an ex-volunteer on the event who is running the women’s-only race on Saturday evening. Her husband is running the Half-Marathon on Sunday whilst their children Sacha and Elliot will be running the Junior Races. Sacha has been excited to take part, and when asked what his objective was he responded enthusiastically “I just want to have a good time and enjoy myself!”.

Motivated by the fact 50% of runners beat their personal best in Geneva every year, Eveline Mairena decided to register for the Marathon again this year to try and beat her personal record. “For my second participation in the Marathon I really want to give it my all,” she said. “I’ve been training 4 to 5 times a week all year long in all types of conditions. My aim is to push my limits and to have a good time whilst running with my friends”.

At the front of the race, a total of 20 elite athletes will be vying for the win on Sunday, aiming to go under the famed 2h10 barrier in Geneva for the first time. Defending champion, William Yegon of Kenya is back this year to try and improve on his 2017 course record performance. The race promises to be tough at the front though, as six athletes have a personal best under the current course record that was set last year.

In the women’s race, Japanese athlete Hisae Yoshimatsu is the favourite, with a personal best of 2h28m49s she will aim to beat the course record of 2h32 set by Milka Jerotich of Kenya in 2014.

Weekend Schedule

Saturday May 5th
9am – 6pm: Marathon Village and bib collection
From 4pm: Junior Races
7pm: La Genevoise #LikeAGirl by Always
7.45pm: 10km (Run, Walking, Nordic Walking)

Sunday May 6th
8.30am: Half Marathon and Wheelchair Half
9.45am: Marathon & Relay Marathon

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