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An adapted and successful edition for the Harmony Geneva Marathon for Unicef

The organizers of the event delighted the hearts and legs of runners and walkers by offering an individual challenge throughout the month of May.

The 2021 edition in brief:

  • 6,541 participants challenged themselves individually over one of the 4 distances during the month of May.

  • More than 100,000 km traveled along the harbor throughout the month of May, more than two and a half times around the world .

  • The all-time records for the marathon distance on territory

  • Switzerland and the event records were broken by Shumi Dechasa (BRN) in the men's race in 2h06'59 and by Maureen Chepkemoi (KEN) in the women's race in 2h24'19.

  • The three-time Paralympic champion over 5,000 m and 10,000 m and marathon world record holder for the blind, Henry Wanyoike, leaves with his qualification for the Tokyo Paralympic Games .

  • A suitable format that has proven itself From the Jardin Anglais, thousands of runners and walkers individually set foot in Geneva harbor throughout the month of May. The most popular formats were the half marathon and the 10km race with more than 2000 participants respectively. The queen distance was also well awaited by fervent running enthusiasts. More than 570 participants took part in this distance and the fastest was the Swiss Patrick Mayoraz in 2h35'21. The 10km Walking and Nordic Walking formats were also very popular as well as the 5km #LikeAGirl by Always which was a great success for both women and men for whom this distance was also open this year.

A big highlight of the event was the numerous availability of dates and times. With more than 426 slots offered during the month of May, participants benefited from great flexibility to be able to choose the ideal day and time for their challenge.

Axelle Nesme Jacolino, member of Léman Running, finished the half-marathon in 2h01'32. “I participated in my first half marathon, I had never run this much before. When I saw that there was an event in Geneva, I said to myself that it was a great challenge to start the season. The organization was top notch and given the circumstances, we could hardly do better. Hats off to the volunteers and organization who put this event together.”

This unique challenge, open from May 1 to 30, allowed many athletes to challenge themselves several times in a row, over one or more desired distances. Among the fans, Daniel Freis achieved the feat of running the marathon distance four times in four consecutive days from May 27 to 30 to close this edition in style. “I like doing series of marathons and the opportunity to do one in Geneva was so good. With this new challenge, my score is 189 marathons completed. My goal is to reach 200. I thank the organization for allowing me to complete this challenge which will remain a very beautiful memory.”

Others, like Jasper McDowell, raced at different distances during the month. The Lazy Boys Track Club runner has run the marathon distance four times, the half marathon twice, the 10km Course twice and the La Genevoise 5km twice #LikeAGirl by Always. With his numerous attempts he finished on the podium in 3rd position in the marathon and in 1st position in the 5km distance.

In addition to the special device for the event installed and uninstalled every day by the organization, participants benefited from numerous gifts including a magnificent Compressport technical T-shirt, a medal for each participant and a general and gender ranking.

Faithful to its tradition of an event open to all, in addition to popular challenges, an elite race took place on Sunday May 2 composed of around twenty international athletes on a closed course specially designed for them. The champions of the queen distance broke the event records but also the records on Swiss territory. The organizing committee is proud to have been able to welcome and offer this race to these athletes who are sorely lacking an event due to the pandemic.

The event ended in style this weekend. Franck Romanet, participant in the half-marathon, expresses his delight: “Very satisfied with my time under radiant sunshine, a magnificent setting with the Jet d'eau as motivation. All this thanks to the incredible organization of the Geneva Marathon which once again showed its talent as an organizer without leaving anything aside, Swissmade in a sporting event is great. Thank you and see you next year."

The organizers thank from the bottom of their hearts all those involved in the organization of this adapted edition and look forward to seeing you on May 14 and 15, 2022 for the next edition. A waiting list is open for all runners who wish to receive information as a priority.

A word from the authorities

“I congratulate the organizers for having imagined this extraordinary edition in order to continue to bring their race to life, and a big congratulations also to the participants,” underlines Marie Barbey-Chpuis, Administrative Advisor in charge of the Security and Safety Department. sports of the City of Geneva. “I hope we will find the atmosphere of the peloton in 2022.”

The State Councilor of the Department of Social Cohesion, Thierry Apothéloz also comments on the success of the event: "On behalf of the Council of State, I congratulate all the participants in this event adapted to the crisis health that we are experiencing. Congratulations also to the organizers and volunteers. I look forward to the 2022 edition which we hope will be as normal as possible.

A word from the director

Benjamin Chandelier, Director of the event, expressed his satisfaction “a magical edition took place this year. Despite the particular health context, we were able to admire the joy on the faces of our participants and the cherry on the cake: we ourselves, members of the organization, were able to participate in the event. I would like to congratulate all participants for their achievements. I thank, on behalf of the Organizing Committee, all the volunteers mobilized for the event, the authorities and the competent administrations of the Canton and the City of Geneva for their precious help as well as our loyal partners for their support.”


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