Jogging is quite popular in Switzerland. The Grand Prix of Bern (this year the 35th) is the biggest running event in the country with international competitors. It usually takes place mid May. This year 32’000 runners took part in it. It rained. But the atmosphere was still wonderful, with crowds cheering on the runners and bands playing in different spots throughout the city.
The organizers pride themselves that the longer distance run, the 16km Grand Prix, covers the 10 most beautiful miles of the world. That is a big claim – but indeed the track leads through the picturesque old city of Bern and along the Aare river. It is a uniquely beautiful race with quite some altitude (over 250m) to cover. From km14 to km15 is the worst part of the race with a steep ascent of 9% before reaching the finishing line.
There are three different categories:
The Grand Prix (16km) with about 16’000 participants, the Old City Prix (4.7km) for those building up their jogging skills and the Bear Grand Prix (1.6km) for smaller kids and whole families.
The sports event is very well organized and is great fun either as a participant or as part of the cheering crowd. There are usually around a 100’000 people watching the race and enjoying the atmosphere.
The winners in this years 10 miles GP of Bern were
- men: Ghirmay Ghebresslassie from Eritrea: 47’00’’
- ladies: Charity Kiprop from Kenya: 56’52’’