The first and only eco-marathon in the world
The unique Maraisthon, the first marathon in the world to support a 100% eco-nature mandate, will celebrate its tenth anniversary next year 15th – 16th June 2019.
More entrants than ever before are expected to take part with participants travelling to the Marais Poitevin France from all over the world. Last year there were 1,950 participants in all the races from Japan, New Zealand, Belgium, Portugal, Spain, Ireland, the UK, Brazil, Italy, the USA, Russia and Switzerland. 60% were male and 40% female.
The Maraisthon supports ecology and sustainable development by adopting an ethical charter registered with the SACD on the 7th of February 2009 and protected by international copyright. In 2018 three main causes were supported by the Marasithon – SOS Préma, (a premature baby charity) ‘Pupilles des Pompiers’ (orphaned children of the emergency services personnel) and the Parc National Regional Marais Poitevin where trees were planted to replace any CO2 emission.
This Maraisthon is set in the Grand Site de France environment of the Marais Poitevin National Ecological Park, (Nouvelle Aquitaine). This route extends from Niort to La Rochelle on the Atlantic Coast and comprises of a mosaic of marshes, canals and meadows rich in wild life. The Marais Poitevin is often referred to as France’s ’Green Venice’. At its heart is Coulon, one of the most beautiful villages of character of France.
As in the past, the races themselves are preceded by:
- The popular Riverside Exhibition Village taking place on Saturday 15th June 2019. There is musical entertainment from 15.00 to 19.30 and an Organic Pasta Party in the evening. There are also plenty of activities for the children including, quite appropriately, running events!
- Before all the serious competition, on the Saturday 15th June there is a nature race in the late afternoon at 18.00 – a white trail 12 Km. – called Les Passerelles Maraîchines. This was introduced in 2012 and last year had 250 participants.
- Marathon of the Marais Poitevin and Duo Marathon – (24 Km and 18 Km respectively starting at 08.30 on Sunday 16th June 2019). This can be for one runner or in tandem with a partner. (Limited number of 1000 participants).
- 10 Km Run (Limited to 700 runners) includes an Organic Breakfast served at 0910 in the marquee. The race starts on Sunday 16th June.
- 11 Km and 15 Km Walk (Limited to 400 walkers) includes a Snack Break served half way at a country inn. Walks start at 08.40 on Sunday 16th June.
Registration costs 35€ (£31.50 approx) for the marathon (44€ – £40 approx online), 12€ (£11 approx) for the 10km race, 8€ (£7 approx) for the walks.
To celebrate the 10th Anniversary, there are some great prizes to be won this year – over 50 of them – from electric bicycles to free entrances to attractions such as the Puy de Fou, short breaks to the Basque Country, magnums of wine, champagne, gastronomic meals, cycling holidays in the Marais Poitevin and much more. Also NEW for 2018 to celebrate the anniversary is a Pasta Party Bio, a ‘Village Maraisthon’, more kiddie events and a celebration of the Olympics to be held in Paris in 2024.
All winners will receive a medal – made of soap of course (as always), a Maraisthon bath towel, handmade sweet treats, gold ingots (!), champagne … Prizes are presented at the podium at 14.30 on 16th June 2018.
A Few Figures…
‘Amazingly popular with runners and visitors from all over the world, we are delighted this fantastic event has been such a success,’ says Jean-Marc Giraud, organiser and the founding genius that came up with the idea in the first place. He has overseen the outstanding journey to this anniversary milestone.
- Eurostar to Paris then TGV line Paris to Niort station. Then 20 mins by car to Coulon.
- Paris. Then four hours by car to Coulon
- Bordeaux. Then two hours by car to Coulon
- Nantes. Then one hour by car to Coulon
- La Rochelle. Then one hour by car to Coulon
WHERE TO STAY
- Le Central *** – right in the middle of Coulon and with a renowned restaurant serving local sourced cuisine with specialities of the area.
- Le Marais***- sits canal side just a stones throw from the centre of Coulon and serves a super buffet breakfast.
- Chambres d’hotes are another option such as Au Bord De Sèvre.
Interviews with founder and organiser Jean – Marc Giraud are available on request.