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Interview - Johann Regnier - Feedback on the 2021 half-marathon

Johann side by side with Jean Theurel (winner of the 2021 marathon) on the Route des Grands Crus

Hello Johann, can you introduce yourself in a few words ?

I'm 35 years old, I'm from Langres and I've been living in Dijon since 2012! I am a TER driver in Dijon, and I practice a little bit of all sports since I was young (soccer and tennis). Then I started triathlon but I'm mainly focused on trail and mountain bike!

Why did you choose to run the Grands Crus half-marathon ?

I ran the half-marathon by chance, having won a race number thanks to a contest organized on Virgin Radio.

Did you prepare yourself specifically for this half-marathon ?

Not at all! I had done a 54km trail and 4000D+ in Chamonix 14 days before the Grands Crus half-marathon, so I did an "express preparation" over 10 days.

Can you describe us the pre-race ?

The day before, some friends came from Neuf-Château to do the semi, we took advantage of the Saturday evening to meet and after a short night, we went to the start at Allées du Parc. It was still dark but we already felt a certain atmosphere, it was great! Everything was done to get the numbers without worrying about where to go.

How did you find the atmosphere before the start ? What was your state of mind ? Are you more of a competitor or were you just coming to have fun ?

I wasn't stressed at all because I had only done a half marathon in 2013. I didn't prepare for it so I went without pressure... I'm a competitor at heart but I never put pressure on myself: I never have a training plan, everything is based on feeling and above all on pleasure... I never force myself to do anything.

How did the race go ?

I had set myself a goal of 1h21 or 3'50 per km, but during my 10-day preparation I felt that I could do much better, so I decided to race by feel.

It didn't start very fast, with dozens of runners in front. I quickly settled down to a pace of 3'36/km. I found myself with the winner of the marathon from the 2nd kilometer, I pulled him at this pace all the half, so that made me surpass myself a little and we caught all the competitors one by one...except the 1st of the half-marathon who had started strong and had managed his effort well. I finished 3rd in this half-marathon...a place I had not even imagined before the start!

The course was nice with small bumps, pace changes and restarts, all in the beautiful colors of the fall vineyards and under a beautiful sun. All along the course, volunteers and athletes I knew encouraged me, it was great.

Coureurs au coeur des vignes lors du Marathon des Grands Crus 2021
The group of runners in the middle of the golden vineyards

What did you feel when you crossed the finish line ?

A huge surprise when I saw the ranking, and a pride to finish the race in front of my sweetheart who came to the finish line and was as surprised as I was about my result!

What did you like most about the event ?

The color of the vineyards and the hilly course...too bad I couldn't enjoy the festive refreshments except at the finish of course!

What do you remember about your experience ?

That without preparation, no pressure and results..

In one word, how would you sum up the Marathon des Grands Crus?

Un bon cru ! (A good vintage!)

Do you have any advice for runners who have never participated and who are hesitating to start ?

You have to go for it, you can't imagine how your body can go beyond.


3 comentarios

It sounds like you experienced a mix of emotions when you crossed the finish line - from surprise at your ranking to pride in finishing the race in front of your sweetheart. It must have been a special and memorable moment for you both! connections game

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