“Toulouse can not do without its marathon”, believes a specialist after the announcement of the end of the event
The Toulouse Métropole marathon was canceled in 2020 and 2021. And it will not resume, at least in 2022 and 2023, announces the metropolis. For Simon Chrétien, specialist journalist for Jogging International magazine, the 4th largest city in France must have its marathon.
Toulouse will no longer organize a marathon, how do you receive the news?
I am very surprised. And disappointed, I admit that it was one of the marathons that I had checked in my logbook. Running a marathon is not just about running for 4 or 5 hours, it’s about discovering a city, staying two or three days or even more on site. The marathon is a major tourist attraction. It’s a dynamic image, streets without a car on a weekend.
How are the marathons doing in France?
The health crisis did not spare the organizers, that’s for sure. At the Paris Marathon on October 17, there were only 30,000 participants, compared to the usual 50,000. A lot of events have struggled to restart in 2021, and many wait until 2022 to see more clearly. But none has really drawn the curtain. There is Bordeaux, which had to postpone in 2019, and which definitively stopped in 2020. For the rest, Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Lille, Nice, Rennes, Nantes, everyone at their marathon. New events are even being created: Biarritz and Pic Saint-Loup in particular, in 2022.
Did Toulouse’s disappointment with the French Athletics Federation, which stopped the organization of the marathon in early 2019, play a decisive role?
I think Toulouse Métropole has experienced several setbacks: the precipitous departure of the Federation, then the Covid. Saying to yourself, at the end of 2020 at the beginning of 2021, “We are leaving for a marathon in October 2021”, must have been very complicated. After that, the decision not to leave in 2022 can be pursued further. It’s a choice I can only disapprove of as a marathon lover, but it is the choice of the metropolis.