Suffocated by the health crisis in 2020 and 2021, the Route du Louvre will regain all its breath this weekend. From the long and trying Covid episode, we only kept the best: a party and events spread over two days. But more to adapt to gauges and constraints, only to prolong the pleasure of the reunion.
16,000. This is, all events – races, trails and hikes – combined, the record number of participants in the Route du Louvre. It had been established in 2019, and we thought then that it would take a cataclysm to stop dead a sports machine arousing such popular enthusiasm.
No cataclysm, of course, but a hell of a calamity all the same as this global pandemic which will nevertheless have come to blow the organization (the Hauts-de-France Athletics League). Breathe out, not suffocate. Because the 2020 and 2021 editions will have taken place. Without marathon, limited in space and displaced in time, with gauges (5,000) and draconian instructions, but still allowing not to completely break the rhythm.
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But this time, finally, the horizon clears up to the tops of the slagheaps of the mining basin. And the sun-azure sky tandem is not the only “responsible”. If it is not quite behind us yet, we seem to have taken enough distance from the Covid and this 17th edition therefore signals the return to the “real” Route du Louvre, with sweat on the asphalt and happiness around. On D-3, there are more than 12,000 registered, including 5,000 on the 5 hikes, 2,000 on the 10 km and the marathon, 1,500 on the half and the 2 trails…
Saturday, at 5.15 p.m., the start of the 5 km (regional label, as for the 10 km and the half-marathon) will be given in Lens. Previously, at 4.15 p.m., participants will have set off from the Louvre-Lens in the 9 and 15 km trails which will take them to the pit of 11/19 (for the shortest) and even to the tops of the slag heaps twins (for the other) from Loos-en-Gohelle. Same routes, but at a less hectic pace, for hikers who will break camp at 2 p.m.
Sunday, it will not be necessary to have had a wedding the day before, since it is at 9 am that the start of the 10 km will be given, from Place Jean-Laurès de Lens. The competitors in the half-marathon (9.15 a.m.) and the marathon (9.30 a.m., national label) will follow in their footsteps, but be careful, since this time the banks of the Deûle, in Don, and not the center of Lille, where the Utopia festival will have started the day before. Shuttles (trains) are organized from Lens and Lille to reach Seclin. For the less adventurous, hikes will also be offered, from Cité Nature in Arras (8 h, 24 km), Notre-Dame-de-Lorette (10 h, 14 km), and the Arena Stade Couvert de Liévin (11 h , 10 km), all these beautiful people converging on the Louvre-Lens. Again, shuttles (buses) will be organized from Lens (Bollaert stadium car park).
Information on access, timetables and routes on the site www.laroutedulouvre.fr/. Please note that registrations are closed.
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Lens: finally the return of the “real” Route du Louvre!
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