What a day!
The first day of racing took place in perfect conditions in Geneva today, as thousands of runners crossed the finish line triumphantly in the Jardin Anglais to collect their finisher’s medal. Racing got underway with the ever-popular Junior races, followed by La Genevoise #LikeAGirl by Always and 10km race for runners and walkers alike.
With today’s race formats allowing runners of all ages and abilities to participate in the 14th edition of the Harmony Geneva Marathon for Unicef, everyone was able to run to their heart’s delight and make the most of perfect Spring conditions a beautiful Saturday afternoon.
Beaming from ear to ear after completing the 2km Junior race, Sacha Martin expressed his delight at crossing the finish line, “It was great!” he said, “It’s the third time I’m taking part here and even if I don’t win I really like running. I’m going to put my new medal with my old ones up in my room!”
Elise Currat was equally as happy after finishing second in the 3km race a few minutes later, “I was really hoping to finish on the podium, so I am happy with my race. I like the distance, 3km is not too short or too long for me”.
After the 5km race completed proceedings for the junior races, it was time for the women of the La Genevoise #LikeAGirl by Always race to hit the streets of Geneva. Setting off from Chêne-Bourg, Colombe Stouff was one of the 1500 runners to complete the 6.5km course to the finish line in the Jardin Anglais. “It was beautiful, the conditions were ideal with a nice little breeze to keep us cool during the race,” she said, “I tried to accelerate a little towards the end, it was fun because I caught up with my friends just after Cologny so we finished all together”.
As the sun began to set over Lake Geneva, it was the turn of the 5100 participants in the 10km races to shine as they set off from Chêne-Bourg at 7:45pm. Running through the streets of Geneva, they enjoyed perfect temperatures for another fast race.
First over the finish line was local favourite, Thomas Huwiler of Stade Genève, in a blistering time of 30:53. Back in action after four months of injury, he was delighted to take the win, “What a relief to win this race at home,” he said, “I wasn’t confident on the start line, I’ve been training really hard on the bike for my triathlon races this summer so I’m happy that the form is there on the run as well. It was a tough race but I’m delighted that I managed to hold on for the win”.
“The atmosphere was brilliant,” he added, “as soon as we got to the lakeside the support was unreal, I’ve never witnessed anything like it, I won’t be forgetting this win!”
Crossing the line a few minutes later, Maïko Python was extremely pleased with her performance and delighted with the race, “the conditions were absolutely perfect for running,” she said, “the sky was stunning, and that downhill section towards the lake was really enjoyable”.
Tomorrow, thousands of runners will take to the streets of Geneva once again for the Half Marathon and Marathon distance races, starting in Chêne-Bourg and finishing on Geneva’s emblematic Pont du Mont-Blanc.