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The 7 top emblematic races

in Provence-Alpes-Côtes d’Azur

Whatever your profile, whether you’re a Sunday athlete or a confirmed runner, the Provence-Alpes-Côtes d’Azur region offers a wide choice of races to let off steam all year round. Here is a selection of our favourite runs to challenge your limits as you make the most of an exceptional setting between the land and the sea!

Women’s and solidarity race: La Marseillaise des Femmes

In the springtime, women gather in the middle of the Parc Borély for the Marseillaise des Femmes which starts on Avenue du Parc Borély and finishes at the central fountain of the park. Supported by the association Le Club des Marseillaises, this charity race conveys festive and sports values in a spirit of solidarity with the Fondation pour la Recherche Médicale and the Amnesty International France Foundation, which works on research into women’s cancers and women’s rights. Men can also take part but only if they are invited by a woman… so solidarity can be the word during this 5 km race!


The race signed “French Riviera art de vivre”: le Marathon des Alpes-Maritimes

Every year in Nice at the beginning of November, the starting gun of the Marathon des Alpes-Maritimes is fired on the Promenade des Anglais for the runners who cover the 42,195 km to the Boulevard de la Croisette in Cannes. The participants are invited to run dressed in blue as a reminder of the landscapes and the blue sky in the territory. The event gathers together over 60 different nations. Competitors from all over the world are attracted by the warm climate and the charm of the French Riviera. A blue line painted on the ground shows the ideal trajectory to follow to do the race in minimum time. The marathon also adapts its course for people with disabilities.

The responsible and solidarity race: the Marseille-Cassis

In the autumn, the Bouches du Rhône become the meeting place for athletes during the Marseille-Cassis race which starts near the Orange Vélodrome in Marseille. This road race goes through the Calanques National Park, from the Bay of Marseille to the Bay of Cassis, and finishes high in the vineyards of Cassis. Partnered with the association “Maryse ! Pour la vie !” which supports the event “Don d’organes – dons de vie”, this responsible and solidarity race also shares values of environmental protection and respect for nature. On average, there are around 20,000 participants and 800 volunteers who honour this historical 20-kilometre race which was created in 1979 and which has become part of the local heritage.

The 100% boundary-breaking race: the Semi-Marathon du Mont Ventoux

Every summer in the Vaucluse, the Semi-Marathon du Mont Ventoux gives participants the will to rise to the challenge from the start in the village de Bédoin to Mont Ventoux, nicknamed the Mont Chauve (the Bald Mountain) because there is virtually no vegetation due to the impressive gusts of wind. Run in the footsteps of former athletes who have made history such as Tom Simpson, Bernard Thévenet or even Christopher Froome. At the finish, the runners reign over the Mont Ventoux perched at a height of 1,912 metres. But before that, the mind will be sorely challenged over 21.6 kilometres. The endurance and courage of the cycling champions inspire us to not let go!

The race along beside the Mediterranean: Carro-Carry

Early in the autumn, the mythical Carro-Carry race starts in the Port de Carro in Martigues and runs along beside the sea. The participants run through the village of La Couronne and continue to the little harbour of Tamaris before arriving in Carry where they are rewarded with a superb view of its turquoise water and its marina. The waterfront serves as the setting all along the race, with in particular the crossing of the corniches of Sausset-les-Pins, is just dreamy with its magnificent viewpoints on the coast, the beaches and the fishing harbours. A 14.2-kilometre race where everyone gets an eyeful!

Le Trail de Haute-Provence to satisfy all your desires

A Trail is organised in Forcalquier in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence at the end of the spring. A choice of six races from ridges to mountains, pine and ash forests, fields of lavender, and white rocks. And of course, the most incredibly breathtaking viewpoints… But you’ll need what it takes to take part in one of the races which range from 8 to 160 kilometres in nature, woodland and at altitude. You’ve got it, this trail suits all profiles, even the youngest!

A race to test your limits: the UTMB Nice in the Alpes-Maritimes

In early autumn, the UTMB Nice which is part of an ultra-trail competition spread over 16 countries, invites you to a challenge! In all, four races from 25 to 165 km will try all levels of runners. You’ll discover a vast range of panoramic views of the Mercantour National Park as all the races lead to the Promenade des Anglais in Nice. This hotspot for biodiversity with its glacial lakes and Alpine valleys is the ideal venue for this Mediterranean trail running event, with an added bonus: the sweeping views of the Côte d’Azur you’ll never get bored of.