Man arrested running on motorway to catch Lyon flight

Gendarmerie in Isère have arrested a British man who was found running alongside the A43 motorway in a bid to catch a flight to Lyon.

31 January 2018
By Connexion journalist

The man was found this week running alongside the emergency lane on the A43 autoroute near La Tour-du-Pin, and was wearing a hiking backpack and listening to music in headphones as he ran.

He had been running since leaving Valmorel (Savoie), where he had participated in an obstacle course the weekend before.

As part of a “Spartan style race” he had set himself, he was planning to run the 170km from Valmorel to the airport, from which he expected to take a flight to Lyon, and was just 40km away from the airport when he was stopped.

Gendarmerie on motorbikes from Verpillière (Isère) arrested the man, but initially found it difficult to stop him, as he was in deep concentration and - headphones on - could not hear anything except his music.

According to their statement, the gendarmerie said: “We used loudspeakers but he could not hear a thing. We told the man that his actions were forbidden, but he did not understand why we stopped him. He wanted to get to the airport at all costs, but we explained that ‘we do not run on the motorway; it is not an athletics track’.”

The man was arrested and, after having tested negative for alcohol, was taken to the nearest motorway exit and let go, with police showing him an alternative non-motorway route to the airport.

The gendarmerie said that the man escaped the four-euro fine, which they called “ridiculous, in relation to the danger involved”.

The statement added: “This is not the first time we have had this with a British person. It is very strange that they choose to run on the autoroute. Maybe it is a national sport over there, but not in France.”

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