Between sports performance and sustainable development

February 21, 2022, 5:46 pm

EcoTrail Paris organizers invite lovers of the discipline to meet at Saturday, March 19, 2022. Almost 12,000 people have already signed up for this 15th edition and 2,000 bibs are still available. ” The Paris Ecotrail aims to be an awareness raising platform to inform as many people as possible about climate issues and encourage action. “, – the organizers admit. Presentation of an event that combines physical effort and the preservation of the environment.

The Paris Ecotrail, created in 2008, is a pioneering nature race in the area. Beyond the mere physical performance of the attendees, the event aims to be part of an environmentally responsible dimension by making even stronger environmental commitments. This goal was realized in particular in 2012 when a sustainability manager was hired, whose mission is to accelerate the green transition of the event and raise awareness of the climate emergency. EcoTrail de Paris is not only an unmissable event among famous runners (Sylvain Cussaud, Marie Gonsalves, Joann Stuck, Nicolas Duhay and others), but also a real experimental tool for testing, validating and summarizing new environmental solutions.

Every year we try to take our actions a little further to reduce the impact of the event. For example, we advocate for the participation of runners from the Île-de-France region to avoid travel, we encourage all service providers and event providers to work with dedicated players who support a more sober and inclusive society, and we advance the local economy by choosing to work with manufacturers close to parisexplains Justine Biro, Sustainability Manager at EcoTrail. But our mission as an event organizer doesn’t stop there, we believe it’s just as important to keep our attendees and volunteers aware of the climate emergency, raise awareness of best practices and encourage them to take action. For example, we offer a MyCO2 workshop for participants to calculate their personal carbon footprint and understand the order of magnitude of carbon. Thus, our strategy revolves around three axes: reducing our footprint, informing and raising awareness, and restoring nature. “.

Multiple eligibility criteria

In order to maintain its ranking and meet its obligations, Eco-Trail de Paris has focused its activities on several aspects:

  • Highlighting the local, natural and cultural heritage of the Île-de-France region : “ The EcoTrail concept is simple: use the natural trails that still make up urban areas to offer runners different distances and educate them about the presence of a preserved natural environment and educate them about the fragility of the environment. The question has never been so relevant. “, the organisers.
  • Incentive for sustainable transport : “ Mobility is a central question that all event organizers should ask themselves. This element alone accounts for more than 80% of the carbon footprint, in particular due to the arrival of participants by plane. Goal EcoTrail Paris? 0% of runners arrive by plane. A race that is already more than mostly local as 91% of the participants come from Île-de-France. In addition, so that each trailer can simply arrive at the point of departure (the national property of Saint-Cloud, the observatory of Paris-Meudon, the Palace of Versailles, the island of Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines), the organization offers RER to each participant. »
  • local food : “ Since 2019, EcoTrail Paris has radically changed its product strategy, offering seasonal, organic and local products. The goal is to fund players committed to a green transition, reduce greenhouse gas emissions through greener food, and encourage runners to change their daily habits. The organizers worked with a sports nutritionist to ensure adequate nutrient intake. Runners will be offered local and seasonal products from Picardy, Normandy and even Ile de France in various supply areas. On the menu ? Apples, cheese, bread, sausage, soup, dried fruits, honey candies, compote, etc. »
  • Better Water Management : “ This year, runners will once again be required to provide their own water bottle. To put an end to single-use plastic water bottles, the start/finish areas and rest areas are connected to the local water mains or water tanks. Other drinks will complement the gastronomic offer. Participants will be able to taste apple juice produced by Vergers de Plaisir, located in Yvelines, on the Gatin plateau, as well as excellent organic Terramoka coffee, YogiTea tea or fish syrup produced in Drome. »
  • Reliable partnership with SodaStream : After a first successful collaboration in 2021, Sodastream has decided to renew its commitment to EcoTrail Paris, a partnership based on shared values ​​and shared goals. For this 2022 edition, Sodastream will provide more machines and refillable bottles at all race food outlets. Runners will be able to enjoy all of the brand’s sodas (water and sodas) without the use of single-use plastic. The entire volunteer team will also be offered a bottle of water as a thank you for their commitment. ” We are thrilled to be partnering with the EcoTrail Paris teams again for this 2022 meeting. This partnership makes a lot of sense to us. We are convinced that sport and ecology can go hand in hand. This environmental issue is at the center of sports competition today. The approach taken by EcoTrail Paris is inspiring and innovative. This is a real role model for many events. Bringing this concept of environmental responsibility to the maximum makes me very happy. ” explains Antoine Dedobbeler, Managing Director of Sodastream France. “
  • Responsible shopping : In this 2022 edition, the organization wants to continue its approach by becoming even more sustainable, inclusive and supportive, in particular by promoting even more responsible shopping. She mapped out the procurement activities to categorize all of their vendors and service providers, from office paper clips to used barriers. For example, to avoid the unnecessary production of banners covering the start and finish areas, the organization began negotiations with its sponsors to find a less polluting solution that also guarantees the visibility of its partners. The first step to a radical change in ingrained habits. Convinced that he can fund a virtuous and purposeful economy, his long-term goal is to find interested players in every field.
  • Concentration on the essential : “ The organization has decided to follow its guidance on sustainability best practices by removing the finisher’s T-shirt for the second year. Even if this gift has a symbolic meaning for each participant, from its conception to delivery, this product no longer meets the criteria for the development of the event. “We are fully aware that this is a strong and disappointing decision, but we are convinced that this choice becomes important at this stage of our development. “, assure the organization EcoTrail Paris. »

Real sporting event

From a more sporting point of view, the event is also noteworthy, in particular due to the variety of routes offered (short or long distances) as well as Nordic walks. Like last year, trailrunners will be offered five routes. The royal distance of the event since its inception has been the 80 km course. The historic EcoTrail offers runners a unique experience on the 1st floor of the Eiffel Tower. ” Its rather winding route invites you to discover atypical places in the west of the Île-de-France region.organizers say. The beginning of the 45 km trail in the gardens of the Palace of Versailles gives it a royal air. This nature trail is also the perfect transition for all marathon enthusiasts looking to transition into middle-distance cross-country running.e”.

Medium distances such as 30 km are also offered. ” This allows you to understand all the features of the course: managing the distance and sequence of climbs, mental capacity and managing your diet. “, say the organizers. Finally, two distances are available to a wide audience: 10 and 18 km tracks. The course of the first city is “above all an opportunity to let everyone discover the practice and atmosphere of the trail” and the 18 km “ offers the opportunity to discover the atmosphere of the trail in a 100% natural format accessible to all and with some beautiful hills to boot. “. Two Nordic walking competitions will also be held at these distances.

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Text: Emeline Pichon
Photo credit: EcoTrail Paris.