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The Paris Marathon guide

Paris, “Ville Lumière”, in just a few days thousands of people will wait at the Champs-Élysées, ready to run the Paris Marathon .

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On April 12th, the Paris Marathon provides a unique way of exploring the city, running the 42,195 meters that make up one of the most important and toughest races in the world. A total of 16,000 foreigners representing 140 countries, and over 50,000 runners will compete in the streets of the French city; some run for sporting glory, and many as an important personal feat.

The backdrop to the race couldn’t be better; athletes will start at the world’s best known boulevard, the Champs-Élysées, and finish at Avenue Foch, passing through some of the French capital’s legendary sites. The most striking city in the world will be all theirs! Ready?


The personal challenge of the race mixes in with the breathtaking views of the city. The mostly flat course of the race crisscrosses through the city’s key points. The Arc de Triumph will be the site of the Paris Marathon’s start line, from which runners will sprint down the Champs-Élysées towards the Place de la Concorde. Then, Rue de Rivoli, will lead these participants to the Place de la Bastille. Pacing differences will start to become obvious, and it will soon be time for the runners to have a drink and recharge, to withstand the remaining 35 kilometers.

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Around 12 kilometers into the race, runners will reach Versailles with its unrivaled views over Louis XIV’s abode. The Paris Marathon is the best time to see the city.

The next course of the race will lead runners down Avenue Daumesnil, where they will reach the half-way mark. It is then that they’ll be assaulted with hesitation and questions such as: “Will I reach the finish line despite the distance?” or “How will I react during the last stages of the race?” This will be the right time to dispel all doubts, make a quick check, drink a sip, and carry on to the banks of the river Seine.

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A magical moment in the race, the flat, straight river banks that will lead runners to the Eiffel Tower. With sights such as Notre-Dame on the left, and the Louvre Museum on the right, this is high-time to open eyes wide to behold these Parisian monuments.

The last kilometers approach, runner’s legs attest to the exertion. This is the last effort, and though the pace may slow down, the participants will have to give it their all. They will reach Porte d’Auteuil and cross into the Bois de Boulogne. With heavy legs, here is when the mind takes over the running. The last stretch of the race, and step by step Avenue Foch draws near. The voice in the loudspeakers becomes audible, the finish line is in sight, and smiles are etched in the runners’ faces. Mission accomplished!

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