The stage is set for the third edition of Run Mate this weekend, 25-26 September - a relay running race around one of the biggest lakes in Europe, the magnificent lake Geneva.
This year more than ever, Run Mate is the ideal opportunity to get together with friends, family, colleagues, members of associations and sports clubs to share a sporting challenge and experience an exceptional adventure. 200 teams are expected to take the start at Pully-Plage for what is guaranteed to be an event with a festive and friendly atmosphere.
The participants will have to run around lake Geneva, a 215km course divided into 29 stages of 3 to 13km each. On this cross-border route, the runners will have to take turns over two days and one night and can also participate in the 5 off-race challenges set by the organisation.
Combining fun and sport, these challenges cover several themes (environmental, cultural, sporting, costume and video). A challenge of particular importance to the organisers is the ‘Zero Mégot Challenge’ which sees runners collect as many cigarette butts as possible as part of the events sustainability initiatives.
An event that brings people together
Many teams take advantage of Run Mate to spend valuable social time together. For the Fresco y Batata team - which is made up of colleagues from the Crédit Suisse company who are all currently working remotely - the event is an opportunity to come together as team. “We finally have the opportunity to participate in an event and run together. We are looking forward to sharing these moments outside the office together,” commented Nicolas, the team captain.
The event is also a chance to meet new people. Aline found her running mates thanks to the Facebook group ‘Trouve tes Mates’ which was created by the organisation to allow teams to create and/or join teams. “I recently discovered Run Mate but I didn’t have any teammates. So, I decided to give it a go. 20 minutes later, a gentleman contacted me and signed me up for his team. So here I am, in the starting blocks of this challenge with a mixed team that is totally unknown to me.”
Running for a cause
Many teams use the event to raise funds for charities and associations close to their hearts. The ‘Team EHC’ - which includes 9 employees of the ‘Ensemble Hôspitalier de la Côte’ - are running to raise funds for the Swiss cystic fibrosis association. “My niece, Agathe, aged 4, is suffering from this disease. It is for her and to help research against this disease that we are running Run Mate,” explained Frédéric, team captain.
In order to support teams running for a cause, this year the organisation has set up a dedicated page on the event’s website to help them raise funds.
A “Covid-compatible” concept
In 2020, Run Mate was able to navigate the health crisis to run a successful event, thanks to a ‘Covid-compatible’ concept and an adapted system. Once again, this year, a strict health protocol will be put in place to protect all those involved in the event including a mandatory health pass, gels, masks, social distancing, etc. “The specifities of this event - the delayed starts, the relays and the playing field around lake Geneva - are advantages that allow us to ensure the safety of all,” said Benjamin Chandelier, Event Director.
“Once again, this year, Run Mate will offer participants the chance to experience an atypical event, a real human adventure by challenging themselves in an exceptional setting, the majestic lake Geneva. For two days and one night, our Mates will live a fantastic experience of sunset and sunrise while discovering or rediscovering our magnificent region.
We are looking forward to welcoming all the participants to Pully this weekend and to this 3rd edition of Run Mate.
We would like to thank our partners, our volunteers, the Cantons of Vaud, Geneva and Valais as well as the Haute-Savoie department. We would particularly like to thank the commune of Pully as well as all the communes that we will be passing through, especially Evian-les-Bains, Meinier and Aubonne, which will be hosting a great relay point,” concluded Chandelier.