Marathon international of Bessans

Popular race
for an international date


The Marathon international of Bessans is one of the Euroloppet Race (more info on and it’s the first race of the French « Marathon Ski Tour ».


Since 1980 … In that year, the Cross-Country Ski Center, with the support of the Municipality, organized the « Challenge of Distance ». It was on January 13, 1980, the race took place in « classical » of course, and on the 42 km regulation …

The first edition of the Marathon took place 34 years ago.
On the 13 th January 1980 the Association of cross-country skiing, with the support of the Town Council, organized the “Distance Challenge”. It was a 42 Km race in the classic technique.
In 1981 it was named «Grand Prix de Bessans». As years went by this race became more and more important and the name that everybody knows –MARATHON INTERNATIONAL DE BESSANS– established itself.

At last Bessans – among the first organizations of big races to do so -opted for the skate technique. On the tracks of Bessans, this marvellous technique is really appropriate. From the young to the veterans, each skier runs on a track fit for their age or wishes…
From the very beginning up to today, thanks to the participation of many skiers, the Marathon is one of the most important events in Savoie, as well as one of the most beautiful popular races in France and Europe. For several years he’s part of the Euroloppet family, and We can mention some of the winners: Henriet (France), Sandoz (Switzerland), Kholberg (Sweden), Stéphane Passeron, Ludovic Vandel and Jesus Gutierrez, and then recently Masako Ishida and Benoit Chauvet. We cannot mention everybody, though. Nevertheless we want to thank all the skiers who fight for the top ten places as well as those skiers who take part to the race just to live a magic moment of cross-country skiing.

The history of the Marathon would be incomplete if we did not consider the enthusiasm and care of the people of Bessans. Thanks to them, this leading manifestation becomes more and more renowned. Yesterday thanks to the Association of cross-country skiing and to the Club des Sports , and today thanks to the push of the Tourist Office, we are pleased to live, each January, great moments of sport with you all.
Your participation together with ours contributes to making the future of the Marathon de Bessans even brighter. We are going to hear the vibration of the snow under our skis again…