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On Track Night Paris: „Das erlebt man in Europa nicht oft!“

On Track Night Paris: “You don’t see that often in Europe!”

At the “Fast 5000” running event in the French capital, amateurs and professionals got very close: runners were able to compete against each other in numerous races spread throughout the day. We were there live and captured the atmosphere.

Words: Agata Strausa
Photos: Florian Kurrasch and @curatedforruners

“Live Fast” – you could not only have these words tattooed on site at the “Fast 5000” meeting in Paris, but very fast times were also conjured up on the track at the running festival in the French capital. In addition to several community runs, there were 1,500 meter runs for men and the mile for women. But the highlight of the meeting was the 5,000 meter finals in the evening. In the elite race for women and men, results were achieved that would have been competitive at the Diamond League meeting a day earlier in Paris.

Surprise appearance and revenge for Hanna Klein

The event name kept its promise: five women ran under 15:00 minutes, and 17 women beat the previous meeting record. In the women's event, Eisa Medina of Ethiopia pulled away to win in 14:46.60. The best German in the run was Hanna Klein in 6th place with a strong 15:00.89. Shortly behind, Alina Reh crossed the finish line with a stable 15:10.59. The German trio was completed by Miriam Dattke, who continued her strong performance over 10,000m in London with 15:22.03 (PB).

After canceling the start of the Diamond League race the evening before, Hanna decided at short notice to go to the running festival in the same city. She didn't seem entirely satisfied with her performance after the race: "I felt a bit surprised," she said to más. The weekend was ups and downs for her. “I was hoping that I would get a chance today,” said Klein. But there was a lack of confidence and excitement for a faster time. Nevertheless, she was grateful and praised the event: “You don’t experience something like that so often in Europe.” Alina Reh also showed a stable performance with 15:10 minutes.

In the men's A race, 20-year-old Kenyan Levy Kibet crossed the finish line first in 13:04.21. Here the decision was particularly exciting: the first four men all finished within just one second. There were no German runners at the start.

The top 3 over 5,000 meters for women:

Media Eisa 🇪🇹 14:46.60 (MR)
Sarah Chelangat 🇺🇬 14:50.93 (PB)
Selah Busienei 🇰🇪 14:52.37

The top 3 over 5,000 meters for men:

Levy Kibet 🇰🇪 13:04.21 (MR)
Mohamed Ismail 🇩🇯 13:04.39 (PB)
Rodrigue Kwizera 🇧🇮 13:04.57 (PB)

In the middle of it all, the middle distance: “That was so awesome”

Another running highlight at “Fast 5000” was the women’s mile. Nikki Hiltz from the USA won here in 4:22.07 minutes – a new world record for the year. There were also two German starters in the race: Vera Coutellier took sixth place in 4:33.03, while young talent Fabiane Meyer came eleventh in 4:38.56.

“They started sprinting at the front, it was crazy,” said 20-year-old Meyer at the finish line. Given the high initial pace, she had to force herself to stick with the other starters. Finally, a gap was opened. But she was able to put pressure on her again in the last 400 meters. The spectators at the side of the track also encouraged them: “That was cool. “It was different than any race I’ve run before,” said Meyer after crossing the finish line. “I would like to run again.”

Instead of a mile, the men's classic discipline of 1,500 meters was on the program. In a fast race, the German Maximilian Thorwirth was able to secure a new personal best of 3:36.16. He was happy about a successful comeback after his nose operation in March.

The top 3 over the mile:

Nikki Hiltz 🇺🇸 4:22.07 (WL)
Janat Chemusto 🇺🇬 4:23.65
Sintayehu Vissa 🇮🇹 4:24.35 (PB)

The top 3 over 1,500 meters:

Narve Gilje Nordas 🇳🇴 3:32.39 (PB)
Charles Philibert-Thiboutot 🇨🇦 3:33.54 (PB)
Jimmy Gressier 🇫🇷 3:33.90 (PB)

Between professional athletes and pyro action

The “Fast 5000” meeting in Paris was a special running festival that skilfully bridged the gap between amateurs and professionals. There were races for different levels of ability throughout the day, as well as a community relay in which local running clubs could compete.

Instead of keeping the spectators on the stands in the stands, you were allowed to get very close to the runners and cheer them on from close range. Because 5,000 meters on the track can seem quite long as a starter, there was a tent tunnel that you had to go through every lap. Loud music was played, spotlights and pyrotechnics created a party atmosphere.

In order to keep the athletes and the audience on the grounds for as long as possible, there were numerous attractions for a particularly young, hip audience. A T-shirt printing station, a nail salon and a tent where you could get a real tattoo based on a template on site.

A new take on track events

The Swiss shoe manufacturer On is behind the event and not only made the sports festival possible as a sponsor, but also used the whole thing as a marketing campaign. In recent years, some organizers have tried to give running a modern image with events and to bridge the gap between recreational athletes and elite runners. In Paris the “Fast 5000” definitely succeeded. Although the sport of running in Paris was not reinvented, the experience was still unique for everyone who was there.

The “Fast 5000” is part of the On Track Night Series, which has already taken place in Los Angeles and London in addition to Paris. The next event will take place on June 17, 2023 in Vienna and the conclusion of the series will take place in Melbourne in December.


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