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  • Writer's picturethe_uphill_runner

Paris je t'aime...

Why did I choose Paris as the setting for my first marathon? Read on to learn more about why I want to run 26.2 miles across the city of lights.

Arc de Triomphe - Paris 2012

If I had to choose one city to spend every long weekend in for the rest of my life it would be Paris. I spent a few days there in the summer after finishing my A levels, looking forward to starting my degree in French Studies in the autumn. We walked around the city in glorious sunshine, ate croissants and moules-frites and I remember thinking that I was finally on the verge of being an adult; my life was about to really begin. It wasn't the first time I had been there thanks to a school trip a few years earlier, and I knew it wouldn't be the last. I envisioned myself in my mid-twenties, living in a chic Parisian apartment, drinking coffee on my balcony with a view of the Eiffel Tower, before spending the day watching New Wave films and baking delicious patisseries.

A year after finishing my degree, during which I spent a year living in a small village in the Pays de la Loire region of France, I was back in Paris for another short break. The realisation had dawned that becoming a full time Parisian woman isn’t a sustainable way to make a living, so being a frequent tourist would have to do. We visited more monuments and museums but I knew there was still so much left of picturesque Paris for me to see. What better excuse to go back for a newfound running enthusiast than to take part in the Paris Marathon?

The course of the Paris marathon, for me, is second to none. What other tour allows you to see so much of Paris from such a perspective? From running along the banks of the Seine to striding through the Bois de Vincennes, starting and ending the race at the foot of the Arc de Triomphe, I knew that the marathon would satisfy my hunger to revisit those historic monuments. I would get a fresh glimpse of the celebrated architecture, all while running along the streets captured on film by New Wave cinematographers like François Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard. When I heard the news of the fire at the Notre Dame cathedral just a day after this year's marathon I was devastated.

Notre Dame Cathedral - Paris 2017

On a less romantic note, a final reason for choosing the Paris Marathon was the guaranteed entry. There was a time when I first got into running where I would use the mantra and ultimate goal of 'London Marathon' to spur myself on when it felt tough. However, I have several friends who have tried and failed numerous times to obtain a place through the ballot for the London race - and if you are unsuccessful you don't get your money back! Although Paris Marathon is definitely not the cheapest race to enter (if you are organised and eager you can get a basic advanced entry place for around £75) having that set date in the diary is a great motivator and I know that it will be an experience worth every penny!

Don’t forget to subscribe to keep up to date with my journey to Paris – just enter your email at the bottom of the page. Look out for more posts and pictures coming soon!

View from the Eiffel Tower

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