Balloons, marathon colour weekend

A rainbow of hot air balloons will take to the skies above Bern on Saturday

Aviation and sporting enthusiasts are being invited to join or watch two colourful events due to unfold this weekend in Bern and Lausanne.

This content was published on October 17, 2001 minutes

On Saturday afternoon - weather permitting - 100 hot-air balloons will lift off near Bern to mark the centenary of the founding of the Swiss Aero Club.

Spectators are due to line the banks of the Gurbe River, the best vantage point to watch the balloonists launch their colourful craft.

The Aero Club was founded in 1901 with the express purpose of "studying aviation in all its forms and meteorology...". The first gas balloon purchased by the association was used for topographical and nature studies.

With Europe on the verge of war in 1913, the club successfully appealed for donations and acquired Switzerland's first military aircraft.

Marathon for all

On Sunday, tens of thousands of spectators are expected to line the shore of Lake Geneva around Lausanne for the ninth edition of the Lausanne Marathon.

The 42-kilometre course follows a scenic route from Lausanne to La Tour-de-Peilz, taking in the shoreline and the Lavaux vineyards.

In addition to the main marathon, the day's programme includes special races for various categories of competitors, including children, inline skaters and people in wheelchairs.

The festive occasion is accompanied by wide-ranging activities and entertainment.


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