Mend’Ekiden, the first amateur relay marathon will bring together more than 720 runners until the end of the night

Mend’Ekiden, the first amateur relay marathon will bring together more than 720 runners until the end of the night

Mathieu Rissoan est à l’initiative de cet événement sportif et festif, qui s’élancera boulevard du Soubeyran. Midi Libre – Anaïs Da Silva

With more than 120 teams of six people registered, the first edition of the relay marathon in Lozère will animate the town of Mende from 2 p.m. until 1 a.m., this Saturday, May 25, 2024 .

"I’participated in the two previous Ekiden in Albi with a group of friends, explains Mathieu Rissoan, licensee of Éveil athletics. It was a real moment of strong cohesion! I said to myself, we really need to organize this in Mende." From this idea came the birth of the first Mend’Ekiden, organized this Saturday, May 25, 2024.

Athletes from here and elsewhere

This relay marathon brings together more than 120 teams of six people. The athletes of the day come from here and elsewhere. "There are many Mendois who responded to our ad, smiles the licensee of Éveil athletics. In addition to the Lozériens, we reached neighboring towns in the department: Nîmes, Clermont-Ferrand, Puy-en-Velay…hellip;". Among the teams, there are families and groups of friends of all ages. But not only. Thanks to the implementation of specific challenges, many associations and companies participate in the Mend’Ekiden.

They will have to cover in total, the classic distance which characterizes this type of race, i.e. 42 km 195 m. A swarm of runners will set off on Boulevard du Soubeyran at 7:30 p.m. "The first of each team sets off on the 5 km loop. When he’s finished, he passes the relay baton to the 2nd. He completes his two laps, i.e. twice the loop, therefore 10 kilometers. He gives the stick to the 3rd, who leaves for 5 kilometers. He passes the torch to the 4th so that he can cover 10 kilometers. The 5th runs the distance of a loop, and leaves his place to the last member of the team, who has a different route, with a distance of 7.195 kilometers", details Mathieu Rissoan.

"Don't leave too quickly"

The man who has several marathons under his belt recommends some tips for performing well during this type of action. "Don't drink too much beer beforehand, since the refreshment bar opens at 5 p.m.", he laughs.

Events at Place du Foirail

To be able to entertain Mende all day long, the program for this Saturday is busy. &From 2 p.m.& nbsp;: bib collection at Place du Foirail, inflatable table football & human size, activities for children, stand (crêpes, Marvejols-Mende race), concert… À 5 p.m.: opening of the refreshment bar; 18 hours: banda and batucada; 7:30 p.m.: whistle blows for the launch of the Mend’Ekiden.

"More seriously, you need to hydrate well and not leave too quickly. The start of the race is downhill. The first kilometer is easy. But we must not forget that the tour is between 5 and 10 kilometers. You have to keep your strength up, especially since the end is a little uphill, precise Mathieu Rissoan.

Road closed from 18 h 30

"From 6:30 p.m., and until 1 a.m., the roads in the center of Mende will be closed& ;nbsp;for the safety of participants", indicates the initiator of the event. Fifty-six volunteer flaggers will be stationed along the route, accompanied a few law enforcement officers, to direct the runners and watch out for passing cars.

"It will run all night and until midnight thirty !, rejoices the licensee of Awakening athletics. Thanks to our partners and our sports association, with Yannick Valinas we managed together to organize a big event, from the first edition."

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