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Anyone doing (or done previously) Paris marathon?

(90 Posts)
Flippetydip Mon 12-Dec-16 14:19:54

Looking for a bit of support really. My running partner persuaded me earlier this year to enter Paris with her. It would have been my first and her second marathon. We entered and then a month later she died from a stroke, which was a total shock and obviously hideous for her family.

Am feeling obliged/inspired (not sure which really) to still do Paris but it's going to be a much less "fun weekend" than it was planned to be. I'm thinking of taking DH and both kids (8 and 6) so it's a completely "different" weekend and not such an emotional wrench. However, has anyone done the Paris marathon before? Is it "family friendly" - e.g. are there things to do round the course, is it easy to navigate etc?

Any advice, insights gratefully received.

I'm also slightly nervous about the long winter training (well not so long anymore) which we were planning on doing together. I'm up to 11 miles now but it's quite a slog. I'm lucky to be part of an amazing club so there are usually people around for at least part of the longer runs but it's not quite the same thing.

Sheusedtobesomeonelse Tue 03-Jan-17 10:47:19

I signed up for Paris just before christmas, this will be my first ever marathon but have heard some really great things about it which is why i signed up for it.

That is terrible about your friend, i'm very sorry and it must make training all the more harder.
Could you still do it sort of in her memory? Tring to aim for an uplifting/inspirational vibe to your marathon.. I did Amsterdam 1/2 marathon in October sort of in memory of a close friend of my partner who died in november 15, it kept me going through my training in the summer when i thought i couldn't do it.
About the family friendly, i'm sure it is (am still undecided if i'm taking my DDs) but Paris does have lots of activities/places for families, even though i don't know it very well. I've started looking at hotels/Air BnBs that are getting booked up.

I am petrified that i've got myself into something i'm going to regret but i hate giving up so will try my hardest, lets spur each other on!

Flippetydip Tue 03-Jan-17 11:13:57


I have now definitely decided not to take the DC. I am hoping that a friend will come with me. If not I will just go on my own and hope that adrenaline gets me through! I am going to do it in my friend's memory and will do it sponsored, which I wasn't going to do before.

How's your training going? I'm still only on 11 miles which is not great news but onwards and upwards! I had a wisdom tooth out the week before Christmas which has put me back somewhat.

I'm hoping to do 12 miles this weekend. I must enter some races!

Bubbinsmakesthree Tue 03-Jan-17 11:14:57

I'm so sorry about your friend, that is tragic.

I did the Paris marathon some years ago so things may have changed. It was a good marathon, nice course which includes central areas of Paris and doesn't have the kinds of crazy crowds of London so it is easier for supporters to move about (so cheer you on from multiple spots during the race). The central start/finish is also convenient for supporters. We stayed in a well priced hotel just off the Champs Elyssee so only had a 5 minute walk to the start / hobble back from the finish. Has the big marathon event feel (you're always surrounded by other runners, there is reasonable entertainment and support enroute).

DH and DCs should be able to base themselves somewhere central where they can plan to see you a couple of times during the course but probably have some opportunity to grab a drink in a cafe or have a run around in a park - at that age should be no problem, should be a great weekend!

Although motivation on cold mornings can be tough I prefer winter training - better than dealing with heat of summer and you feel very virtuous!

Bubbinsmakesthree Tue 03-Jan-17 11:16:09

Ha x-posted, ignore advice about DC!

RamblingFar Tue 03-Jan-17 11:24:47

Take water with you. The year I did it they'd ran out at 10k, 15k, 20k, 25k and 30k!

Personally I wouldn't rush back, I'm doing Madrid and Windermere instead this year, but other people seem to like the Paris course.

Flippetydip Tue 03-Jan-17 11:36:28

rambling that doesn't sound great - I will definitely take water.

bubbins thanks for that - it all sounds positive.

Sheusedtobesomeonelse Wed 04-Jan-17 07:25:30

Gosh, running out of water?!! At 115€ a pop, that doesnt sound very good!

I quite like training in the cold - but i probabaly started a month too late - am only up to 13-14 km at the moment but am managing 3 shorter runs before work in the week.

The teeth situation is also quite tricky, i have a tooth that needs sorting out and have been putting that off since september as i didnt want anything going wrong before amsterdam.. fingers crossed it wont rear its ugly head! At least your wisdom tooth is gone for good!

I'm also thinking about going on my own, i'm undecided if it would do me good being alone and winging it or if i'd just feel lost.. shall think about that one some more!

-2° here this morning so felt great after my 6k this morning smile

Flippetydip Wed 04-Jan-17 10:26:11

Sheused - I'm also now going on my own apparently! My friend who thought she was coming has just realised it's in the Easter holiday and her DH can't get any time off so she has no-one to look after her DC.

I think I'm just going to bite the bullet and go on my own. I like Paris, I speak French, it can't be that difficult!

We should arrange to meet at the Expo or something! By the way - have you had any confirmation of anything from the marathon? I've had nothing aside from the first email I got last April.

Flippetydip Fri 06-Jan-17 14:55:22

All booked - my dad is coming with me smile

Now terrified and spending all my days not doing the work I need to do but googling the race and stressing about training (although not actually doing the training!)

AgreeableH Mon 13-Feb-17 09:44:28

Hello all 👋🏻 I'm also doing the Paris Marathon this year. OP you should still give it a go and take the pressure off yourself for doing it in memory of your friend (condolences btw) I'm sure even if you end up walk running it will be an amazing experience for you. I'm up to 15 miles but should be at 18 by now so you are all not alone in having a bit of a panic! Would love to keep this thread open in support of OP and for all of us flapping a bit smile x

Flippetydip Mon 13-Feb-17 09:56:29

Hello! I did 16.6 miles yesterday and felt absolutely knackered!! I have no idea how I'm going to get another 10 miles on top of that.....

The sponsorship is going well though so I suppose that's something!

AgreeableH Mon 13-Feb-17 09:59:36

Well done! Crazy isn't it, I can do 8/9 miles before a full day of work and be full of runners high, but come to the 'long run' and I am also wiped for a day or so after. How are you getting on with Gels etc?

I'm going for 17 this week, 🤞

AgreeableH Mon 13-Feb-17 10:00:32

Well done! Crazy isn't it, I can do 8/9 miles before a full day of work and be full of runners high, but come to the 'long run' and I am also wiped for a day or so after. How are you getting on with Gels etc?

I'm going for 17 this week, 🤞

Anglaise1 Tue 14-Feb-17 11:05:39

Unfortunately the Paris marathon is one of the most expensive and run by a private company called Asso who are more interested in profits than the participants. They organise loads of big sporting events in France and sadly took over the Mont St Michel marathon last year. They ran out of water there too and I've never seen such a miserly offering at the end food station, just fruit and water, not really sufficient after a marathon.
The Paris marathon is great though, a good atmosphere with a lot of support. But my favourite so far is Barcelona, half the price, lovely route, loads of music and support all the way round.
Good luck!

Flippetydip Thu 16-Feb-17 14:42:53

Agreeable - how's it going?

My Achilles tendon is starting to niggle. I'm on a "down" week this week anyway so only have to do 7.5 at the weekend which is better.

17.5 next weekend though.

Gels - meh, I'm using SIS GO gels but I'm not actually sure whether they do any good or not.....

Flippetydip Thu 16-Feb-17 14:43:41

Oh and by the way - have you received anything from Paris yet? I only had my initial confirmation email about 8 months ago and that's it.

AgreeableH Sun 19-Feb-17 18:26:26

Hello! Sorry I stopped watching the thread by accident! I'm using SIS as well, not sure I love them either but getting used to them and I think they do pick you back up and ready to face the next 5/10 miles.

I am following the hal higdon intermediate plan, haven't had too many niggles but did have a sports massage earlier in Feb, at which the therapist(?) also helped me assess my stride and pointed out why certain muscles were being over used - very worth the £50!

I've been getting emails about training programs etc from schnieder but I think that may be as I downloaded the app? Nothing specific via email, I think we just have to get everything off the website.

Have you got your medical certificate yet? I got one out of my GP (and no cost!) but he was a bit grumbly about it as 'it's a legal document' despite my airy chat about it just being a bit of French burocracy!

AgreeableH Sun 19-Feb-17 18:29:08

Oh PS I've missed some training runs too which I know isn't great but I've stopped beating myself up about it, and I think if I miss one it's the extra motivation needed for the next one! Taking a day off work this week to run 19 ( birthdays weddings hens etc are taking up a lot of my weekends at the moment!)

So hard to fit it in isn't it..... but we are doing it and that's what counts smile x

Flippetydip Sun 26-Feb-17 20:33:19

Hiya - took the day off on Friday to do 17.5 - it was beyond hideous. I hated it. How on earth I'm going to get another 9 on top I have no idea!

AgreeableH Mon 27-Feb-17 08:06:54

We would have been out at the same time! Mine was ok, I only did one run in the week (8) which I think helped, as legs weren't to tired. some weeks fitting in the multiple short ones is a pain! I'm supposed to to 20 at the weekend, eek.

I did start very slow on Friday and just thought of getting the miles out the way rather than pace, and listened to radio rather than the running playlist which helped with the distraction.

Flippetydip Mon 27-Feb-17 09:13:21

I have to do 20 this weekend as well - I'm just comforting myself with the thought that everyone has a bad run, I just hope that was mine at the weekend.

I still haven't done my medical cert - I really must get that sorted out - we have a lovely GP at our church who is happy to sign me off!

I have to say, having never done a marathon before I am slightly afraid of dying. I think given what happened to my friend (hence the original reason for this post) it just plays on my mind a lot. I wonder if I should get a proper medical somewhere or whether that is just overkill.

Anyway, in 6 weeks time it will all be done. I am petrified!

What time are you hoping to do the marathon in?

AgreeableH Mon 27-Feb-17 20:13:10

Ah I think if it would settle your mind go for the full medical, but you've done 2/3 of the distance so I recon you will be a ok smile

In an ideal world closer to 4 hours, my pace is about 930 when I'm doing long runs, but it could all go horribly wrong and in that case just finishing is the main goal. I'm in the 430 (pink?) pen I think.

What about you?

I'm so nervous too but worst case we can run / walk to get through it!!

ToEarlyForDecorations Mon 27-Feb-17 20:36:01

I did the Paris Marathon in 2010.

You will have to collect the race pack the day before in Paris. Allow time for this as it's a busy hall. Have your medical certificate with you to hand in. Some people take a chance on the authorities not checking (they don't.) Basically they forge it !

Fill in the next of kin, emergency phone number, blood group etc on the back of your race number as soon as you can. If you leave it to the morning of the race you will be to nervous to remember things. My hands were shaking so much with nerves I had to ask my husband to tie my shoes laces for me.

I should have deliberately worn the consolation jacket that I got when I got turned down for a place on the London Marathon to keep warm at the start of the Paris Marathon.

Halfway round the course there's segments of orange and raisins. The wine and little pieces of cold sausage are available a couple of miles from the finish line.

It was my first marathon. I wanted to do it in under five hours but had to settle for it being 5hrs 37 minutes. The lady putting the finishers medal over my head and around my neck is a lifetime memory.

Oh, I made a point of taking a croissant with me on the course what with it being Paris.

On crossing the finishing line and meeting up with my husband I had the most unusual but powerful craving for beer ! Not bad for someone who doesn't really like it or drink it !

At the start of the race people will discard the bin bags they were wearing or the sweatshirts and just leave them on the road. Mind you don't trip over on them.

confuzzled42 Mon 27-Feb-17 23:11:17

toearly thanks for those pointers - not sure I can eat anything going round - my stomach is a terrible runner! I really must get my Med cert sorted. agreeable I'm sure you're right about the medical it's just paranoia. I'm about half an hour behind you - am hoping for 4.30 but more likely to be 5 or 5.15 but I would like to finish it. It will be what it'll be I guess.

Oh and sorry about the odd username - this is the OP but have lost my other log-in - doh

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