This Sunday, April 15, 40,000 runners take to the streets of Paris to run the Paris Marathon. The race offers a great visual course of the city, from the Champs Elysées, the Louvre, to Bastille, in the Bois de Vincennes, past Notre Dame, next to the Jardins des Tuileries, the Musée d’Orsay, the Eiffel Tower, Avenue Foch, the Bois de Boulogne, finishing at Porte Dauphine near Jardin du Ranelagh.
If past marathons are a guide, runners will be treated with an enthusiastic crowd, musicians, African drummers, bands and lots of cheers. Although the weather forecast indicates rain showers and cool temperatures, this should not dampen the spirits of the crowd or runners, as the course offers a spectacular visual tour of the city on both ends of the peripherique.
The race also is a great way to see well over a dozen of the 37 bridges in Paris, including Bir-Hakeim, Pont Alexandre III and the famous Pont de Neuf near Notre Dame. See the map course here. With water stations spread out every 5 kilometers, and some carb stations spread at kilometers 10, 20, 25, 30 and 35 kilometers, don’t be surprised to see some more unofficial Parisian treats by avid fans, including oysters on the half shell and foie gras.
With participants from nearly 100 countries, it is truly an international marathon that attracts some of the best runners in the world. Some runners wear rather unusual garb. One a year I saw a man push an old bicycle with a French flag, carrying a baguette, a bottle of wine and, of course, wearing a beret — still clipping at a sub-4:00 pace.
The race ends at Port Dauphine off of the famous Avenue Foch, and close by is Coffee Parisienne, a perfect place to chow down on a juicy burger, in the Tony 16th Arrondissement near Place Victor Hugo.
This premier event is already closed, but you can try and buy a running big (“dossard”) by offering to buy it from someone at ther registration area. Simply make a state which states “Je voudrais acheter un dossard” (I would like to buy a bib) and you should be lucky enough to get one. The registration area and hours are as follows:
RUNNING EXPO : Hall 4 – Porte de Versailles – 75015 Paris
Métro : Porte de Versailles.
Thursday, April 12th , 2012 from 3pm to 8pm
Friday, April 13th , 2012 from 10am to 8pm
Saturday, April 14th, 2012 from 9am to 8pm