Undertaking a triathlon is no easy task. It is one of the toughest events in sport, involving an open water swim, followed by a lengthy cycle course and finishing with a grueling run.

So it is all the more impressive that 36 colleagues from Coca-Cola France recently put themselves to the test, taking part in the Deauville Triathlon earlier this month.

The story of their brave entry all began when Richard Dacoury – who helps to head Coca-Cola France’s sports activity – laid down a friendly challenge to PAC Director Florence Paris to tackle a triathlon.

As a former pro basketball player who then took up triathlons and has also completed an Iron Man, super-fit Richard wanted more of his colleagues to enjoy the fun of this special event.

Florence decided the best tactic for this daunting challenge was safety in numbers, and set about asking colleagues in our Paris office if they were also up for it.

To her delight an incredible 35 colleagues came forward and began their training in February.


Months of Training

The group needed a coach, and so Issy-les-Moulineaux triathlon club’s head coach was hired to train the team. They trained together every Monday lunchtime with a fitness program to follow for the rest of the week. Thirteen athletes also went on a four-day intensive training trip to the south of France in May in preparation for the event.

The Triathlon Normand in Deauville is one of the top five triathlons in France. In 2014 it attracted more than 2,500 participants, with even more than that taking part this year. So on Sunday, June 7, after months of preparation, the group of Coca-Cola triathletes made their way to the start line. The time had come….

It was a tough race, with a few injuries and even some tears. But, amazingly all 36 members of the Coke team crossed the finish line. A fantastic achievement.

Now a safe distance from her wetsuit and bike, Florence recalls: “It was an incredible day, and after so much training we were determined to finish. I am so proud of everyone who joined me and it’s a great feeling that so many of us rose to this challenge. At Coca-Cola, we are all Ambassadors for our brands and values  and I can think of no better showing of Ambassador spirit than this. When we say we support movement and active lifestyles, we mean it!”


Le Sport Ça Me Dit

If Florence and her team showed the strength of our commitment to active lifestyles on the inside, Coca-Cola France is also demonstrating our efforts on the outside, with the launch of the 2015 edition of Le Sport Ça Me Dit. Our hugely successful grass-roots community sports program is about to start its Summer Tour, launching in mid-July and ending on September 13. It will visit 11 cities across France, including five host cities for UEFA EURO 2016™.

The program aims to move more than 65,000 people this summer. Combined with a second tour by the Coca-Cola France team – activating our "Just Dance" dance-based app – the total number will be even higher.

This nationwide program is run in partnership with the Ministry of Sport and French Olympic Committee. Since its launch in 2008, it has moved over 1.5 million people across France. The program is specifically designed to engage young people  who aren’t usually attracted to sport, encouraging them to participate in games that are fun and non-competitive. Le Sport Ça Me Dit has two aspects to it, a grass-roots program, which runs all year round in 1,300 partner cities, and the summer tour.

In a nice link with the recent triathlon action, Le Sport Ça Me Dit is the brainchild of our very own action man…Richard Dacoury.