Manon Mirada is Safety & Security Project Manager at Paris 2024. She’s also a seasoned athlete (triathlon, racing, etc.) who has run almost since she could walk and has already raced three marathons: Mont Saint-Michel, New York and Paris.
Marathons are in a class by themselves… But what are they for you?
They’re mythical races, because they’re historic races. Those 42.195 k aren’t easy: you’re on the road, in the city, you’re timed, it’s more about performance. Completing a marathon is an extremely motivating venture.
Why do you want to run another marathon?
There’s that notion of pushing yourself even further; you want to relive the excitement from the first time and do even better. When you race a marathon, it’s not necessarily against others, it’s a race against yourself. To make the most of the moment, you have to start training well in advance. Hard work pays off. You see all kinds of people in a marathon: young people, old people; it doesn’t matter when you train: it’s always rewarding. Whatever your time is in the end, it’s a race that takes brains.
How do you prepare to race a marathon?
You need a training plan over several months. Sometimes the marathon is in the spring, so you run all winter, it’s cold, you try out your kit, you keep on working your way through your plan. It’s one way of meeting people. I’ve been running since I was small, so it’s no big revelation for me, but it is for some people, it can be life-changing, and I think that’s wonderful! I had always said I would run my first marathon at 25, so it all happened very naturally.
What does the Mass Participation Marathon in 2024 mean to you?
In 2024, it will only have been 40 years since women were first able to take part in the Olympic marathon. That was at the Games in Los Angeles in 1984, it wasn’t all that long ago. As a woman, it means a lot to me. If women can run that distance today, we have to do it, we can do it. And, if we collapse after the finishing line, it’s normal, it means we pushed ourselves, not that marathons aren’t for us.