The 50th edition of the cross du Figaro, rainy, brought together a peloton of enthusiasts happy to share an invigorating moment of conviviality and effort.
The weather forecast was grim. Rain, cold, wind. She kept her word. And that’s good. “ It’s raining, it’s freezing, it’s hell “, testified Arthur (26), strategy advisor. Since its first edition, on December 17, 1961, the Cross du Figaro has never been a health walk, a Sunday stroll in the forest, an outing with friends to stretch your legs, and a somewhat cloudy mind with work. daily. No, the mythical test is quite another thing. A race, an adventure, a challenge, a visit to the depths of oneself and sometimes, it must be admitted, a hassle.
Even if sportswear has changed in fabric, color and soul in sixty years, finding yourself in shorts, t-shirts, on the last weekend of November requires a bit of courage, even masochism. Because to return to the weather, that of this Sunday, November 27, 2022, finally honored this Cross du Figaro, plunging it back into its best years disputed in the Bois de Boulogne, at the Mortemart hill, just behind the Auteuil racecourse. . The mud, the wind, the halberds as our grandmothers used to say, and even the snow, punctuated the stride of the tens of thousands of runners marked to the bone by their experience. “Figarist one day, Figarist alwayswe say on the pontoons of the Solitaire du Figaro, the other huge race bearing the colors of our venerable newspaper. Athletes, whether young or old, stars or unknown, beautiful or ugly, fat or thin, blond or dark (all of which are obviously and above all feminine), can adopt the slogan of the sailors, so much remain in them the images, the smells, the sensations of this unique day. “Once a Figaro runner, always a Figaro runner»…
This Sunday, to remind us of our young (and distant) years, we joined the Figaro tribe at the Parc de Saint-Cloud, the new setting for the legendary event since 2013. On the program four races: 5 km, 10 km, 15 km and 20 km in the manicured paths of this high place of Hauts-de-Seine. The brave long-distance riders set off early in the morning (9 a.m., it’s early for a Sunday). Being neither early risers nor overtrained, we fell back on the 10 kilometer, which is ultimately equivalent to the average mark brandished at school for passable students. A reasonable distance for a departure which is just as much at 11.30 am. The opportunity to greet the members of the French Association against myopathies, organizer of the 2022 edition of the Telethon, officially launched during this Cross du Figaro, but also researchers and families of patients involved in the race.
On the Rond-Point de la Balustrade, the emotion is palpable when the starter releases the crowd to the sound of lively music. Liberation of the body, liberation of the spirit. Letting go is real. Breathing becomes the major issue. “One game after anothersay the World Cup footballers. “One foot in front of the other“, we answer them at the Parc de Saint-Cloud. A truism of course, but which becomes a necessity, an obligation, a constraint, when the minutes follow one another, then the quarters of an hour, when the route climbs, when the heart begins to ache, when the legs betray, if not is overweight, in any case too irregular training and a life diary largely started. The meters become tens then hundreds and finally thousands of meters. The runners parade, each in his effort, in his body, in his fight but all united in this festival of the canes by the oxygen, the passion, the desire then the joy to end it. Some are crying with emotion at having succeeded in taming their fear and their pain, others are smiling at having completed the adventure in a time that lights up their stopwatch.
The reward for the effort? For the best, home fitness equipment developed by the company NordicTrack, naming partner of the Cross du Figaro, and their name on the first page of this results book published by Le Figaro. And for all the others, those thousands of anonymous people who braved the cold, rain and slush this Sunday? Of course the traditional souvenir medal. But the main thing is elsewhere. In this one-of-a-kind (and genderless) little flame that burns in the hearts of runners, and more generally of athletes, when the race, the match, the adventure is over. Tired, soaked we are, but happy, filled we will remain until well after the shower. Thank you Cross du Figaro. And see you next year.