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Nice-Cannes marathon: changes, traffic and public security measures

It’s a pivotal sporting event in the Côte d’Azur and is one that attracts as many as 24,000 runners along with their countless friends and families every autumn. From Nice’s historic Promenade des Anglais to Cannes’ glamourous La Croisette, the 42km race has traditionally traced the coast of French Riviera, but this year, following the tragedy that hit the region’s capital in July this year, the route has been significantly changed. 

Since it was launched in 2008, the Nice-Cannes marathon has always begun on Nice’s Promenade des Anglais, but after the terrorist attack of 14th July 2016, which left 86 dead and hundreds injured, the start line has been moved. 

Changes to the start line

Runners will now depart from the Allianz Riviera Stadium in the north-west of the city. Renowned for its persistant traffic problems, organisers have been forced to issue warnings to all runners regarding potential delays on the roads and take also organised free shuttles to transport athletes taking part to the start. 

Parking is notoriously difficult at the stadium so it is encouraged to find other ways there. However, if driving is unavoidable, the P1, P1 bis, P4 and P5 car parks will be free to park in until 5.30pm on race day (Sunday 13th November). Spaces are limited and runners are recommended to show parking attendants their race number when trying to locate a car parking spot.  

Despite the change in the route from the Promenade des Anglais to the Allianz Riviera Stadium, an impressive 95% of the course will be along the seafront. Organisers have been keen to preserve this unique element of the Nice-Cannes marathon. 

Shuttle system

Shuttles from Nice and Cannes’ city centres have been laid on for runners, but only those actually competing qualify - spectators will have to make their own way to the start line. For those staying along the route or preferring to take the train for part of the journey have also been given access to a shuttle from Nice Saint Augustin - again, only runners are permitted on the shuttles.

En route security

Regarding the changes to public security, organisers have said: “Considering the security context, we set up a maximum security protection on the route with the assistance of the Department of AlpsMaritimes, the cities of Nice and Cannes and all the crossing cities.”

On the departure start, security checking will be effectuated. We highly recommend you to be in your starting area before 7am. The access to the departure start will be authorised from 5.45am. To avoid a potentially long wait, we recommend you take the necessary only.”

All bags are forbidden on the route. Only water pockets and small water bottles will be authorised. We remind you that all the runners could find water every 2.5km on the route. Close to the departure area, you will put your kitbag on the baggage lorries. Be careful, your kitbag will be subjected to security checking. At the finish line, security will be reinforced too with security checking and safety officers. The withdrawal of kitbags will be located 700m after finish line." 

Traffic implications

During the race, all roads used in the course will be closed to traffic. Official reports by the organisers regarding the extent of the closures have been poor, although signage in the various towns and cities along the route suggest that the roads will be shut from 6am to 4pm. If you can find another way to travel this Sunday, Riviera Insider would highly recommend it!