Over 3,600 runners lined up to face off against the marathon world record holder and running legend Eliud Kipchoge in a 5K road race on the Champs Élysées avenue in the heart of Paris. One-thousand runners managed to cross the finish line ahead of Kipchoge, who started the race last and with a time handicap.
The runners who beat Kipchoge won a ticket to the unofficial Paris Olympic marathon in 2024 (unrelated to the Schneider Electric Marathon de Paris), which will take place on the same day as the Olympic race, after the elite race. This will mark the first time a public marathon will be hosted on the same day and course as the Olympic race.
A great joy with all runners on the Champs-Élysées in Paris this morning. It was so good to meet you all on the way, and for the ones I didn’t see: many congratulations with your bib for the 2024 Paris Marathon Pour Tous.@Paris2024 @NNRunningTeam pic.twitter.com/LYhoue0amN
— Eliud Kipchoge – EGH?? (@EliudKipchoge) October 31, 2021
The double Olympic marathon champion said in a post-race media interview that “This is the first time I am happy to have lost.” He covered the cobblestone 5K course in under 14 minutes. “My defeat is a victory for several hundred people whom I look forward to meeting in 2024 here in Paris,” said Kipchoge.
Nine hundred and ninety-nine days out from the start of the Paris Games, Kipchoge is unsure if he will race. Earlier this year, he was selected as an ambassador for the 2024 Games.
The Paris Olympic organizing committee hopes to host one or two more races for the general public to qualify for this exclusive race, though no dates have been announced.