Between sport performance and sustainable development


February 21, 2022, 17:46

The organizers of EcoTrail Paris invite the lovers of the discipline to meet. Saturday, March 19, 2022. Nearly 12,000 people signed up for this 15th edition, and 2,000 gowns are still available. ” Paris EcoTrail aims to be an awareness raising platform to inform as many people as possible about climate issues and encourage action. “, trust the organizers. Presentation of an event combining physical effort and environmental protection.

The Paris EcoTrail, created in 2008, is a pioneering nature race in this field. The event aims to be part of an eco-responsible dimension by making stronger ecological commitments than ever before beyond just the physical performance of its participants. This goal was achieved specifically in 2012 with the recruitment of a Sustainable Development Manager whose mission is to accelerate the event’s ecological transition and raise awareness of the climate emergency. The EcoTrail de Paris is a not-to-be-missed event popular with renowned trail runners (Sylvaine Cussot, Marie Goncalves, Yoann Stuck, Nicolas Duhail, etc.), as well as a true experimental tool for testing, validating and generalizing new ecological solutions.

Every year we try to take our actions a little further to reduce the impact of the event. For example, we support the participation of runners from the Ile-de-France region to avoid travel, we invite all service providers and suppliers of the event to work with committed players who support a more measured and inclusive society, and the local economy by choosing to work with producers close to Parisexplains Justine Birot, EcoTrail Director of Sustainable Development. But our role as event organizer does not end there, we believe it is equally important to inform our participants and volunteers about the climate emergency, raise awareness of good practices and encourage them to take action. For example, we offer a MyCO2 workshop for participants to calculate their personal carbon footprint and understand their carbon order of magnitude. In summary, our strategy revolves around 3 axes: reducing our footprint, informing and raising awareness, and restoring nature “.

Many participation criteria

To maintain its rank and respect its commitments, Eco-Trail de Paris focuses its actions on several points:

  • Highlighting the local, natural and cultural heritage of the Ile-de-France region : “ The concept of EcoTrail is simple: using natural trails that still make up urban areas to offer runners different distances and make them aware of the existence of a protected natural environment and to recognize the fragility of the environment. The question has never been more current. “, specify the organizers.
  • Incentive for sustainable transport : “ The mobility question is a fundamental question that all event organizers should ask themselves. This emission item alone is responsible for more than 80% of the carbon footprint, mainly due to the arrival of participants by plane. The purpose of EcoTrail Paris? 0% of runners arriving by plane. It’s a mostly local race anyway, as 91% of the participants come from the Île de France. In addition, so that each trailer can easily reach the place of departure (National SaintCloud Area, Paris-Meudon Observatory, Palace of Versailles, Saint-Quentin and Yvelines Leisure Island), the organization offers each participant a RER. »
  • local food : “ Since 2019, EcoTrail Paris has radically changed its food strategy to offer seasonal, organic and local produce. The goals are to fund players committed to the ecological transition, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by greening the food supply, 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 produce from Picardy, Normandy and even the Ile de France in various supply regions. on the menu? Apple, cheese, bread, sausage, soup, dried fruit, honey candy, compote etc. »
  • better water management : “ Again this year, runners will have to provide their own water bottles. The start/end and rest areas are connected to the local water mains or water cisterns to put an end to disposable plastic water bottles. Other drinks will complement the meal offer. Attendees will be able to taste the excellent organic coffees of the Terramoka brand, YogiTea tea or fishing syrup produced in Drôme, as well as apple juice from the “Vergers de Plaisir” production in Yvelines, on the Gâtines plateau. »
  • A committed partnership with SodaStream : After the first successful collaboration in 2021, Sodastream has chosen to renew its commitments to EcoTrail Paris, a partnership built on shared values ​​and shared goals. For this 2022 edition, Sodastream will offer more machines and reusable bottles at all refresh points of the race. Runners will be able to enjoy all the sodas (water and sodas) the brand offers without producing single-use plastic. All volunteer team will also be given a water bottle as a thank you for their dedication. ” We are delighted to collaborate again with the EcoTrail Paris teams for this 2022 meeting. It is a very meaningful partnership for us. We believe that sport and ecology can go hand in hand. This environmental problem is at the center of sports competitions today. The approach taken by EcoTrail Paris is inspiring and innovative. It is a real example to follow for many events. I am very happy to maximize this eco-responsibility concept. “, explains Antoine Dedobbeler, Managing Director of Sodastream France. »
  • Responsible purchasing : For this 2022 edition, the organization wants to continue its approach to be more sustainable, inclusive and supportive, particularly by promoting more responsible purchasing. He mapped the event’s purchases, all suppliers and service providers to separate them into different categories: from paper clips for the office to used barriers. For example, to avoid unnecessary production of banners covering the start and end areas, the organization began discussions with its sponsors to find a less polluting solution that also guarantees the visibility of its partners. The first step to profoundly change established habits. Believing that it has the power to finance a virtuous and stable economy, its long-term goal is to find decisive players in every field.
  • Don’t focus on the basics : “ The organization has decided to follow its own guidelines in terms of good sustainable development practices by removing the finishing tee for the second year. Although this gift has a symbolic value for each participant, from the design to the delivery, this product is no longer suitable for the development criteria of the event. “We are fully aware that this is a powerful and disappointing decision, but we believe this choice has become necessary at this stage of our development. “Assures the organization of EcoTrail Paris. »

A real sporting event

From a more sporting point of view, the event is particularly noteworthy due to the variety of trail offerings (short or long distances) as well as Nordic walks. As last year, trail runners will be offered five routes. The event’s queen distance has been the 80km course since its inception. A historic EcoTrail route offers runners a unique arrival on the 1st floor of the Eiffel Tower. ” Its rather bumpy route invites you to explore unusual places in the west of the Ile-de-France region.Get the organizers. The beginning of the 45 km course given in the Gardens of the Palace of Versailles gives it a noble appearance. This nature track is also an ideal transition for all marathon addicts who want to switch to middle distance running”.

Medium distance events such as 30 km are also offered. ” It allows you to understand all aspects of a road: distance management and order of hills, mental strength and management of your diet. “Confirm the organizers. Finally, two distances are cost-effective for a wider audience: the 10- and 18-km courses. While the first city’s track is “first of all an opportunity to let everyone explore the practice and atmosphere of the track”, 18 km “ It offers the opportunity to explore the atmosphere of the trail in a 100% natural format that is accessible to all and with some beautiful hills to boot. “. Two Nordic Walking events will also be held over these distances.

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Text: Emeline Pichon
Photo credit: EcoTrail Paris