No Finish Line heads to Nice for the first time

No Finish Line 2016. Photo: Palomba/NFL
No Finish Line 2016. Photo: Palomba/NFL

Monaco’s favourite fundraising event is heading to Nice. No Finish Line, the concept of running or walking on a 24-hour multiday circuit to raise money for projects that support disadvantaged or sick children, will hold its inaugural course in June.

NFL Founder, Philippe Verdier tells Monaco Life that Nice NFL will take place from June 6 to 10 on a 1.1 km circuit on the Promenade des Anglais.

“We’ve had amazing support from the City of Nice,” Philippe says. “Everyone is behind us, from equipment supplies – tents, podium, barriers – to media promotion, like billboards ads and distribution of flyers.”

Monaco resident Patrice Loquet at inaugural NFL Athens in 2017
Monaco resident Patrice Loquet at inaugural Athens NFL in 2017

Unlike the Monaco NFL which runs non-stop over 8 days, Nice’s model will follow that of NFL Paris, Oslo and Athens – a five-day event. “It’s very difficult to motivate volunteers for 8 days, to mobilise a team of organisers for 8 days, and to obtain authorisation from local authorities for a long time,” explains Philippe, Director at Gramaglia Assurances in Monaco, “but I hope that one day we’ll see another 8-day NFL. Especially after launching Athens NFL last year, where I witnessed how the collective drive of participants can bring a smile to hundreds of children everywhere.”

When the first No Finish Line took place in Monaco in 1999, the idea was to have at least one person always on the circuit over 8 days. But early feedback from participants was that whether it was 10 km or 100 km, the results would be the same. Then, in 2002, a bank sponsored Monaco NFL for €20,000 and that year saw 18,000 km completed. It was reported that the bank had donated one euro for each km travelled, and so the 1 km=€1 concept was born in 2004.

Philippe Verdier, founder of No Finish Line, Ariane Favaloro, President of Children & Future, Dr François Bourlon of Cardio-Thoracic Centre and Francesco Grosoli, CEO Barclays Wealth & Investment Management EMEA. Photo: CCM/PALOMBA
Philippe Verdier, founder of No Finish Line, Ariane Favaloro, President of Children & Future, Dr François Bourlon of Cardio-Thoracic Centre and Francesco Grosoli, CEO, Private Bank EMEA & Monaco Branch, Barclays Private Bank. Photo: CCM/PALOMBA

All monies raised during NFL events go to the association Children & Future, which Philippe founded in 2001. Last year, NFL distributed €392,516 to over 20 organisations, including the Cardio-Thoracic Centre of Monaco, which helps save children with serious heart defects, Monaco Town Hall for the Parc Princesse Antoinette Project to enable handicapped children access to a specially-adapted play area and Nice’s Lenval Foundation for the purchase of a gastroscope suitable for infants of 2.5 -7 kg.

Philippe’s goal for the first edition of Nice NFL? “To go around the world in 98 hours – 40,000 km completed by 4,000 participants.”

To accomplish this mission possible, Nice NFL needs volunteers, especially at night (contact: nflnice06@gmail.com) and participants. From mid-February, team and individuals will be able to register online.

Article first published February 10, 2018.


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