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OVER 48,000 STARTERS MAKE 2024 HARMONIE MUTUELLE SEMI DE PARIS A HUGE POPULAR SUCCESS

The first runners began to pound the tarmac on Boulevard Saint-Germain at 8 am, when Pierre Rabadan, the Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of Sport and the Olympic and Paralympic Games, fired the starting gun for the Harmonie Mutuelle Semi de Paris. The first elite runners crossed the finish line around 9 am, while the rest of the field followed in waves until 11:30 am. Over 48,000 runners took part in the first major running event of the 2024 season, rocking their T-shirts in the colours of the Harmonie Mutuelle Semi de Paris, a "2024 Great National Cause" event.

Harmonie Mutuelle Semi de Paris 2024 - Best of

The big winners

The men's race saw a fierce battle between the top contenders, but it was the 36-year-old Kenyan Bernard Koech who came out on top in Place de la Bastille in 1:00:45 on Sunday. The Frenchman Mehdi Frère fought hard until the end and finished second in 1:01:15, confirming his great form, which bodes well for this Olympic year. Another Kenyan, Jorum Okumbo (01:02:02), rounded out the podium. The other French runners put in solid performances too: another three athletes from the host nation finished near the top, with Emmanuel Levisse fourth in 01:02:11, closely followed by Donovan Christien (1:02:28) and Florian Carvalho (01:04:53).

Romania's Joan Chelimo Melly, who had one of the best credentials over this distance, won the women's race in 1:06:58. The Kenyans Veronica Loleo (01:07:45) and Jesphine Jepleting (01:09:11) escorted her on the podium. Meanwhile, the French contingent found strength in numbers, with Fadouwa Ledhem, Manon Trapp and Anaïs Quemener coming in fourth, fifth and sixth.

The Harmonie Mutuelle Semi de Paris is a crowd favourite and everyone has their own goal. Thousands of men and women followed in the footsteps of the champions this morning in their quest to achieve a nice ranking, deliver a strong performance or even beat their personal best.

03/03/2024 - Harmonie Mutuelle Semi-Marathon de Paris - KOECH Bernard (vainqueur), FRERE Mehdi (2ème), OKOMBO Jorum (3ème)
03/03/2024 - Harmonie Mutuelle Semi-Marathon de Paris - KOECH Bernard (vainqueur), FRERE Mehdi (2ème), OKOMBO Jorum (3ème) © A.S.O./Louis Legon
03/03/2024 - Harmonie Mutuelle Semi-Marathon de Paris -
03/03/2024 - Harmonie Mutuelle Semi-Marathon de Paris - © A.S.O./André Ferreira

 A TOUR OF EASTERN PARIS 

The 32nd edition of the Harmonie Mutuelle Semi de Paris once again took people who live and breathe running on a tour of the most popular neighbourhoods of the French capital, where nature meets the city. Starting from Boulevard Saint-Germain, the runners trotted down the banks of the Seine, with sights such as the Jardin des Plantes and the Bibliothèque François-Mitterrand on their route to the Bois de Vincennes, where they feasted their eyes on its famous Château. The runners then blasted through the Daumesnil neighbourhood and the Seine quays before taking Rue de Rivoli towards the majestic Place de la Bastille, which marked the final push before the finish line! rents avant de franchir la ligne d’arrivée !

AN ELECTRIC ATMOSPHERE

Paris moved to the beat of the runners, but also to the roar of the crowds that turned out in force to cheer on the participants. Friends, families and fans shouted their encouragement to the stars of the day.   
Dozens of bands and dance troupes set the tune to their strides and the tempo for the race.

First Half Marathon ofr almost half the field

The half marathon, the ideal distance for beginners, attracts more and more people every year, as proved by the fact that the race sold out in December 2023, three months before the big day and a month and a half earlier than last year! More than 44% of the field was tackling the 21.097 km race for the first time. Every athlete had their own reasons for taking up the challenge. Many were beaming at the finish, such as Guillaume and Margaux.

Guillaume: "It was my first half marathon. The last 3 kilometres were a bit of a slog, but I dug deep and I'm very happy to have finished. The course was really nice. The climb before Daumesnil was brutal, a real leg-breaker, but I pulled through!

Margaux: "It was very nice, the course was awesome. I loved the stretch through the Bois de Vincennes, a bit more peaceful, and ending with some buzz to spur me on was brilliant. The conditions were actually pretty good without rain, so it was very pleasant. I'd never run a half marathon before and I had a blast over this distance, it goes by fast, but you still have time to dig deep. I'm over the moon to have clocked a decent time, 01:22." 

Girl power

The number of women who take up the Harmonie Mutuelle Semi de Paris challenge keeps growing every year. This year, they accounted for almost 42% of the field (up from 37% in 2023), amounting to more than 20,000 women on the start line.

Lorraine: "It's amazing. It was tough, but really cool and with an incredible vibe all the way. The course was awesome. I liked the little bumps, the downhills at the end, that's just what we needed to empty the tank. I haven't checked my time yet, it was more for fun, I was hoping for under 2 hours." 

Coline: "I'm delighted to have finished this race. I went through every emotion in the book and I'm really happy to have overcome the challenge." 

The flower of youth

At an average of 34 years old (versus 35 last year and 37 in 2019), the field had never been younger. Anna and Maddie from England, 23 and 24: "It was tough, but the atmosphere was wicked and we really felt the crowd rooting for us." 

Loïc, 19: "Today was a whirlwind of emotions! Despite the pain, despite the cramps, I'm stoked I gave it a shot. I needed a challenge that put my mental resilience to the test and took me out of my comfort zone. One thing's for sure: I'll be back."

 

 

03/03/2024 - Harmonie Mutuelle Semi-Marathon de Paris -
03/03/2024 - Harmonie Mutuelle Semi-Marathon de Paris - © A.S.O./Aurélien Vialatte