Running in Paris

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I can’t stop thinking about our week in Paris. It’s a good thing we’re going back; I’m not done with that city in the least. Jeremy and I have a housesitting assignment for an entire month there starting late July, and I can’t wait to explore more. Prior to our trip, my runs in Zurich really stood out to me, but running in Paris was something really special. I don’t mean to compare them – pretty much all my runs in Europe have been really fun and memorable – but there was something incredible about seeing the City of Love in that way.

Les Berges

I had done some research, and found a section of the Seine called Les Berges (which has a really great, interactive website) that has lots of shipping containers made into pop-up ateliers, food trucks, obstacle courses, etc. And a 100-meter track. It is basically between the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, so I knew it would be the ideal place to run. We had to take the metro from our Airbnb in the République, so we headed out somewhat early to make the trek to Les Invalides, which would land us close to Les Berges.

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Pretty much every time you get off a metro stop in Paris, you go up the stairs and walk out onto the street to see something so beautiful you can’t believe your eyes.  After getting off at Les Invalides and walking a couple blocks, we came to the Pont Alexandre III covered in gold statues.

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On the Pont Alexandre III with Les Invalides in the background.

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IMG_5314We walked down to the Seine and saw Les Berges right away. A little ways down, we saw an obstacle course and the 100-meter track. There were tons of people running (which I love), and we ended up walking to the Eiffel Tower to check out how far it was (not far at all) and soon after I left Jeremy to get my run started.

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I have a picture of me climbing on here, but it’s way too cheesy to post.

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A plaque with instructions on proper sprinting form.

A plaque with instructions on proper sprinting form.

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I ran along the Seine to the Louvre, past the Musée d’Orsay, stopping to take lots of pictures along the way. There were a ton of people out, but it didn’t feel overwhelming. The weather was perfect (albeit a little windy), and I even ran around the Place de la Concorde among all the tourists. Normally I wouldn’t like to do that, but there were so many other runners out, I felt like I could do whatever I wanted (strength in numbers, right?). At one point I got caught in a cluster of tourists at a red light, but I saw an older French man running fearless through them and I sprinted to get right behind him so he could lead the way. He met up with other running buddies and I tried to push myself to keep up with them, but their pace was too fast.

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Little head, big tower.

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Musée d’Orsay.

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When I was done running (I ended up doing four miles), I met back up with Jeremy, and he took some totally candid, unplanned action shots of me sprinting slowly on the 100-meter track.

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Perfect weather, beautiful scenery, strong-feeling legs… It really doesn’t get much better.

Parc de la Villette

When I was looking around online for things that were going on last weekend in Paris, I found a 10K that started near our apartment. I got really excited, and we planned on getting up early on Sunday and making our way to the start so I could register. I’ve been itching to run a race, even though I’m fairly out of shape compared to my fitness levels this time last year. But I figured it would be fun to run a race in Paris, and explore the different areas the route went through. The night before the race I was reading up on details to make sure I had everything I needed, and I noticed that the website said every runner needed a note from a doctor clearing them for running. I had seen this when I was looking around for a marathon to register for earlier in the year, but was surprised to see that it was necessary for shorter races too. A quick Google search made it clear that I was not going to be able to run without the note, and I was disappointed. Since I was pretty set on running 6.2 miles, I decided to head out from our apartment and run up along the Canal Saint-Martin. I came across the Parc de la Villette a couple miles in, and it was really great. I wouldn’t have visited this park if it hadn’t been for my run, and it was fun to explore the different paths and huge art sculptures. There was a different race going on, and I could hear the announcer cheering people on, so the finish must have been close. It made me want to run a race even more. On my way back, I actually ran alongside the 10K I had planned on participating in, and people were cheering for the runners, so I pretended they were cheering for me too. I was, however, running the opposite direction as the racers, which a man kindly informed me of in French.

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Parc de la Villette, with a huge bicycle tire in the ground.

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The rest of the bicycle… and some goats.

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It was a beautiful run, and I was able to explore areas I wouldn’t normally have visited. I don’t think this running in new cities thing is ever going to get old.

16 comments

    1. aw thanks! I feel like I should be honest and admit that they were kiiind of planned… But I never have any good running pictures, so I insisted on having a photo shoot.

      1. Eh who cares! I feel like it happens the same in races if u see the photographer. Who says they can’t be planned? I’m dying to take Cameron out to the track to do pics. They’re fun and it’s always fun to see your form!

  1. Argh! You really are going to think I am going batty! I was going to finish that last post with to make you think I’m batty but my phone went crazy and I accidentally hit the comment button. The Seine looks much nicer and cleaner than it did when I was there! I guess it must be pretty hard to sign up for a race on a whim while you’re in Europe. :-/

    1. haha not batty! Luckily France is the only country I’ve seen so far that requires a doctor’s note, so hopefully I’ll be able to run some other races in different countries. I actually signed up for one (!!!) but I don’t want to say which one until I’m sure I’m doing it!

  2. Sounds like a great time! I ran into the same doctor’s note scenario when I tried to enter a race while I was living in Annecy, apparently it’s required in several European countries but it sure makes trying to race while traveling a real pain in the butt 😦

  3. Great pictures, brought back some nice memories from my trip to Paris last summer.
    I love the pictures of you running. Sorry you couldn’t run the race, what a pain…. usually here you agree on your registration form that you are healthy to run and have been cleared by a doctor, and that’s enough, then you are responsible if anything happens.

    1. It seems like that’s a really good way to do it, I’m still surprised that they won’t let you race without one here in France.

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