Paris Marathon – Schneider Electric Marathon Paris
After having participated at my first marathon in Rotterdam in 2016, I was enthusiastic to participate at another one. I had to bear in mind that I was still not completely recovered from my ankle injury which happened about 3 years ago (tendovaginitis due to an eversion trauma), but I was not aiming for an incredible time and planned to take it easy again. I decided to sign up for the “Schneider Electric Marathon de Paris” which is one of the biggest marathons in the world with 57.000 participants from 145 nationalities. Registration After the registration was done through the main website: http://www.schneiderelectricparismarathon.com/en/, I got redirected to the “Aso Challenges website” :https://www.asochallenges.com/en-EN to create an account with my details. Everything went well and the registration was done within about 10minutes. Medical certificate There was something to get before the race: a medical certificate. I have participated at a few races in Austria and the Netherlands, but having to provide a medical certificate was quite new to me. However, I like the idea as the organizers want to make sure that one is in a good condition to start the race. The certificate should state: “no counter indication to taking part in athletics competitions” or “no counter indication to taking part in running competitions” or 'no counter indication to taking part in triathlon competitions”. Time flies.. and it was time to go to Paris!
Salon du running
As I arrived in Paris on Friday night, the only option to pick up the racing number was on Saturday. I went there with my friends who decided to join me for picking up my racing number at about 12.00PM. Having heard about a busy fair, we were positively surprised that it was not as busy as expected.
Before entering the exhibition, we had to pass a security check which took only a few minutes. I also did not have to wait for too long to get my medical certificate and ID checked. Afterwards, I picked up my racing number. The whole procedure took only about 15minutes. Compliments to the organization!
There was still enough time left to stroll around at the “Salon du running”. With about 220 exhibitors, it is probably the biggest runner’s fair I have ever been to. It was great as I could get an insight into the newest trends and sport products. After having seen a big part of it, I finally also met the some runners I knew from the “Couchsurfing group” people from Germany, UK, Mexico, etc. It was great seeing them in real life as we have been motivating each other in the period before the race started. Thanks to Marcos for bringing us together! Unfortunately, there was not much time left to get to know each other better, but I hope to meet some of them somewhere again! :)
After spending about 90minutes at the fair, we left to do some sightseeing by bike. The weather was just perfect. Sunny and warm. Luckily, it was not my first time in Paris, so I did not feel the urge to see every attraction the city has to offer like I would usually do. ;)
Having spent a great day, I went to bed at around 22.30, however I could not fall asleep straight away. Since I have seen it coming, I made sure that I slept enough the days before.
Time to run!
It is highly recommended to be at the start block at least 30minutes before the starting time. There were checks for runners to start at the right start block and I needed about 15minutes to get to my start block. I was surprised that I did not see many peeing runners around. ;)
One could find plenty mobile toilets on the way to the starting line and I had enough time to use them before the start.
The atmosphere was great and I was glad to see runners from all over the world. My starting block started at 9.15AM and I was already excited to start the race. At the beginning, I tried to keep my pace slow and I was quite successful. – However I spotted a "4-hour pacemaker and got a bit distracted by the thought that I could run faster. I fell that I was in a good condition and tried to keep the pace with them for a few kilometers which was not the best idea. After realizing that the pace was too quick for me, I dropped my pace again. At kilometer 38, my legs fell heavy and I my quadriceps fell tense. Well, just a bit more than 4km to go and I would arrive! Unfortunately I could not speed up much when I saw the finish line, but I am glad that I arrived safely. I made it in 4hours, 12mins and 59 seconds. Hurray! :D Supply on the way and environment
All in all, the supply along the way was great. One could find water and food (raisins, dried fruits, oranges, bananas, sugar cubes, later also energy gels) at almost every 5 kilometer. The first stands provided small “Vittel” water bottles, the last stands provided water in paper cups. The helpers providing water stood behind and (not in front) the table which I was used to. I am not sure if I am right, but I had the impression that the accumulation of runners was less when the water providers were standing in front of the table. Since there is almost always a huge amount of waste on the road, the organizers provided plenty rubbish bins along the way where the runners could throw their bottles/cups/etc. away. Furthermore, participants were also encouraged to wear old clothes which they could dispose in containers along the starting line instead of plastic ponchos. It seemed to work out pretty well as the the road stayed relatively clean and I was also really enthusiastic about it.
There were many live music bands, drummers and a lot of spectators along the way who contributed to a great atmosphere. I really appreciate the enthusiasm of the spectators, however I would have appreciated something like a “division line” to make sure the runners have more space for running. Anyhow, the atmosphere was incredible!
At the finish line After reaching the finish line one had to walk a few meters to get the medal, which is great to avoid a big accumulation of runners. The runners also received a “finisher t-shirt” and a foil wrapper to stay warm. There was plenty water, oranges, apples, dried fruits and cake provided when one passed the finish line. I never had to wait a long time to and everything went really well.
Baggage claim My friends disposed my luggage for me (merci beaucoup :*) and it was really easy to find the tent where it was kept. My apprehension that I would have to wait a long time to get my suitcase was unfounded as I could get my suitcase immediately.
Conclusion It was a great experience which I would not like to miss. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to combine running with a beautiful city trip! Thanks to all the supporters and congratulations to all participants! It was a great pleasure Paris! A bien tôt! :*