This event was created in the last century. Season 1 stretched from 1987 to 1996 in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, setting off from Deligny swimming pool. No longer in existence today, it was originally located just beside Pont de la Concorde.
In 1994, the Paris Triathlon was the demonstration event during the Olympic Games centenary celebrations, which took place in Paris. Charmed by this triathlon, the members voted for the triathlon to form part of the Olympic programme. The triathlon, M distance (1.5/40/10 – which went on to be called the Olympic distance), would be one of two new sports (together with tae kwon do) to grace the Olympics Games in Sydney in 2000. In fact, it was to remain the hallmark for “Sport in 2000 and the 21st century”.
Congratulations to all the protagonists from season 1: if the Olympic triathlon is on the programme for the Olympic Games, then the Paris triathlon is in some way responsible. Bravo to the pioneers!
The first interruption to play in the Paris Triathlon occurred when the event was halted from 1997 to 2006. Season 2 kicked off in 2007 at the Passerelle de l’Avre and encompassed the Longchamp racecourse through until 2009. It then moved to Pont Alexandre III and the Jardins du Trocadéro from 2010 to 2012.
2012 was a big year in season 2 with some 4,200 competitors (compared with 600 in 2007). We enjoyed being inspired. Were 6,000 triathletes possible for 2013?
Alas, there’s another crash and the event is stopped in 2013: it is announced that marine activity in the river render it inaccessible. The adventure of season 2 comes to an abrupt halt and we have to start over from scratch. Fortunately, 2013 and 2014 saw two years with an abundance of encounters, reports and explanations, but the Seine stage has not reopened and we are forced to resign ourselves to fact.
As a result, we switch over to the ‘exploration’ episode: Exploration of the nearby aquatic spaces able to fulfil our aims of hosting several thousand participants in a unique M-format race, right in the heart of an international capital.
We start by taking out a map, we select something and then we go and visit it. And there we find a jewel: the Parc Interdépartemental des Sports de Paris Val de Marne… and a pool area made for triathlon. So, are we relocating? Are we creating a new race? Are you game?
Season 3 kicks into life: The new “Triathlon de Paris” has arrived! In 2015 and 2016, it will go by the name of the Garmin Triathlon of Grand Paris: a start in Choisy-Le-Roi on the recreational base of Paris-Val de Marne, followed by a cycling circuit linking this green lung of the East to that of the West, in the Bois de Boulogne, rounding off with a finish line in beautiful Chantilly and the Eiffel Tower as a backdrop. It’s an edition that’s now consigned to the history books.
The latest 2017 edition is returning to Paris via the North-East, with a swimming section in the Canal de l’Ourcq level with the Bassin de la Villette. The rest of the course is under construction and we’re likely to keep Chantilly for the finish. Determined to show that the triathlon has its place in the capital, the organisation joins the determination of the Mairie de Paris and Paris 2024 in a bid to get the Paris triathlon back to the heart of the capital, ultimately with a race start to be repositioned on the Seine.
The Paris triathlon still has plenty of surprises in store for you!