Cancellation of the Strasbourg marathon and other cross-border sporting events under threatMarch 2016
The 2016 edition of the Strasbourg-Ortenau Eurodistrict marathon has been cancelled due to "participation by German runners being too low". With a cross-border route (13 km Germany and 29 km in France), it was the only binational marathon in the world.
In France, every participant in a public sporting event has to provide a medical certificate showing there is "no contraindication to them taking part in competitive running events". This regulation, which does not exist in Germany, is "culturally" surprising for most German runners and explains their low participation.*
The approaches made by the organisers over the past year and a half to the French ministry of sport to obtain an exemption have met with no response.
Other sporting events along the French-German border are also under threat, such as the "La Transfrontalière", the race along the Wine Route in the region of Wissembourg/Bad Bergzabern. We should recall that cross-border sporting events play an important role in bringing populations on either side of a border closer together.
*They accounted for only 6% of the runners in 2014, with 12% of the participants being non-French.
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