This Sunday, April 8th, Paris will turn into a sea of runners as the Schneider Electric Paris Marathon takes over the city. Fifty-five thousand participants will show us their sportive best as they literally run a giant circle around one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
The Paris Marathon is second only to the New York Marathon in popularity. That’s certainly not surprising when you consider that the runners begin at the Arc of Triumph on the Champs-Elysees and sprint by several prestigious monuments that include the Concorde, Bastille, Tuileries, Chateau de Vincennes, Eiffel Tower, Grand Palais – just to name a few. The participants probably won’t have time to play tourist during the race, but at least family members and friendly supporters can enjoy the beautiful background as they watch the marathon unfold.
The race covers 26 miles (42 kilometers) and will begin at 8 AM. The fastest runners will cross the finish line at Porte Dauphine on Avenue Foch a couple of hours later but most of the crowd will take between 3 – 4 hours (or more) to complete the grueling (and exhilarating) competition. This will be the first marathon for 36% of the participants. The average age of the runners is 41 and 115 nationalities are represented in this spry event.
If you want to encourage these fearless marathoners, you could pick a spot along the route and wait for them to run by. From the Apartments du Louvre, you can easily walk to the Rue de Rivoli; the Bastille or down to the Seine River. It’s a motivating site to see waves of runners cross the city. They are a stubborn group too. In 2017, 97% of the registered participants completed the Paris Marathon.