Amateur runners in Paris on Sunday took part in a challenge to”beat” two-time Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge.

The special race in the heart of the French capital saw more than 1,000 runners earn a chance to participate in an Olympic-related marathon in 2024.

The five-kilometer race, which was held on the iconic Champs-Elysees, was an event to celebrate the 1,000 days countdown of the opening ceremony of the Paris Olympic Games.

More than 3,600 runners came to race with the best-ever marathon athlete as the 36-year-old Kenyan was placed in the last to start. All those he failed to catch over the five-kilometre distance won access to the Olympic marathon in 2024.

Participants compete during the J-1000 Paris 2024 Marathon Pour Tous or Marathon For All, a 5km run along the Champs-Elysees marking the 1000 days countdown to the opening of Paris 2024 Olympic Games, in Paris, France, Oct. 31, 2021. (Xinhua/Gao Jing)

“It’s the first time that I’m happy to have lost! My defeat is a victory for several hundred people to whom I will meet in 2024 here in Paris,” Kipchoge said.

Paris 2024 has launched an initiative in Olympic history as a marathon race will be open to the public in the Olympic Games on the same day and on the same route with the official Olympic marathon event.

“We want the Games to be more popular ever. So that’s why we organised today to celebrate the 1,000 days to go,” said Paris 2024 organising committee president Tony Estanguet.

“For the first time, you will have the opportunity to participate in the Olympic Games and we will continue to have opportunities for everyone to be part of the Games.”

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