Since its creation in 2015, this seaside race has almost quadrupled its number of participants. Its popular success? The Marathon Royan U Côte de Beauté owes this, in part, to its finale organized on the Grande Conche beach. It is one of the most spectacular backdrops of the event.
The Royan Marathon, an irresistible rise in power
Royan waited a long time for his marathon. The click occurred in 2014. At the origin: a challenge launched by the new president of the club team “17 valves”. The team was known until then for being the linchpin of a local running race, the famous 12 kilometers of Vaux-sur-Mer. After more than 15 years at the head of Royan – Vaux Atlantique Football Club, Jean Pierre Dumon, also a jogger in his spare time, finally agrees to take the reins of the “17 valves”. However, it poses a condition, that of create a marathon in the community.
This ambitious project easily receives the blessing of his predecessor Michel Coudame. He himself was also winner in his category of the 42,195 km of Lisbon in 1996. No sooner said than done: the fine team of “17 valves” gets to work. Several months are needed to first convince the public actors. Then, you have to get multiple permissions. Indeed, the objective is to cross four municipalities of the agglomeration, forests, protected sites but also steep slopes...
More than 1 marathon runners from the first edition
The future organizers have already decided on an ideal course with "three-quarters view of the sea".
Le marathon will start and end in the heart of Royan, esplanade Kerimel de Kervéno, opposite the resort's port. The idea is to join Palmyra along the ocean. We then pass via the Pointe du Chay, the Conche du Pigeonnier, the beach of Pontaillac then that of Saint-Sordelin to the bay of Nauzan. The journey continues at Saint-palais-sur-mer, with a formidable passage on the avenue du Platin, marked by a steep drop that leads to the eponymous beach. Then come the Grande-Côte, the Coubre forest and finally the La Palmyre market… The route thus defined is not designed as a loop. The return is made almost by the same route (in the opposite direction) in order to cover the 42,195 regulatory kilometers.
Saturday, May 2, 2015, this first edition brings together 1 runners divided between the marathon, a team race of two and a relay of 4. It is a La Rochelle, Grégory Madrid, winner of the queen event in 2h42 and 56 seconds who opens the list of winners of the Royan marathon. Since this inaugural kick-off, the event has continued to gain in attractiveness. It drains far beyond its regional territory. There are thus 3 registered in 200. Then, we reach a record of 2019 participants in 4, after two years of interruption caused by the health crisis.
course of the royan marathon called “the race of the 8 beaches”
Under the aegis of organizers quickly experienced in the exercise, the strength of the royan marathon is to have been able to circumvent certain logistical contingencies. In addition, it has expanded and adapted its offer to demand. For example, in 2016, we transferred the big departure place Charles-de-Gaulle. The following year, pacemakers volunteers mingle with the race to “take” in their stride the participants who wish to reach a chronometric objective.
In 2017, we are installing, at the end of the seafront, a Big screen which broadcasts the race live, filmed by three cameras, two of which are mounted on motorcycles. The 4-man relay was abandoned in 2018, a year that saw the creation of a 10 kilometer whose layout makes it possible to integrate Saint-Georges-de-Didonne into the festivities. Another major innovation: for the first time, the runners finish their race on the Great Conch, the famous Royan beach.
In 2019, a Half marathon quickly labeled by the French Athletics Federation (2022) replaces the duet event. Similarly, the round trip Royan – La Palmyre has been abandoned in favor of a loop between Royan, Vaux-sur-mer et Saint-Georges-de-Didonne, a route that the participants in the 42 km run twice (once for the half-marathoners).
- The start of the races takes place at Place Charles De Gaulle, 300 m from the Grande Conche beach.
- The marquee is located on the Kerimel de Kervéno esplanade, 200 m from the Grande Conche beach.