Paris Marathon Medical Certificates

I am trying to find out more about the requirement of a medical certificate for the Paris Marathon. My doctor does not want to issue one so what are my options other than paying for an expensive private one. Anyone else done Paris or another overseas marathon that requires a certificate and they had trouble obtaining one?


  • Thanks, although my Dr is a runner, can I ask whom V-Rap is?
  • Velociraptor (I think!)
  • Your doctor is a runner and he doesnt want to do you a note ? Why ?
  • He had his reasons which we discussed at length and from what we talked about I can see his viewpoint, I have also read in runners world other runners having similar issues with medical notes. The main point was that he felt these medical note requirements were pointless and just a get out clause for the organisers. Should anything go wrong (ie. I fall over and croak) responsibility goes straight back to the GP as they issued the note and they can in turn lose their practice (worst case scenario of course).

    So that's that really, my alternative is for a private medical, no idea what that costs though..
  • I just found the article, it's in the Q&A section on page 21 in the June 2007 issue of Runners World.
  • Jimbus - this comes up every year, and you'll see a variety of solutions if you look at previous year's paris marathon threads.

    To clarify:

    1. You need a note off a doctor - not necessarily yours. I have done many for friends/other runners who aren't registered with me.

    2. The wording of the letter (and the French code civile) do not require the Dr to guarantee that you won't keel over (not that they could anyway). The Paris Marathon website asks for a letter saying that examination does not reveal a contraindication to exercise - in other words (and this is the spirit of the specified law) you aren't doing yourself any harm by participating. It's not the same 'cover your back' ethos as British/US law and your GP isn't making themselves liable for anything, as long as they are making a true statement (ie they have examined you and/or run through your medical history). They (I) really don't need to be suspicious of this, although I understand why there may be a 'culture clash'.

    The usual issue is the cost charged - I won't get into that again, but the certificate is outside of NHS duties (is why you pay your taxes) so the GP is entitled to ask for a fee, usually to cover administration and time. Costs do vary, but privately it can get seriously expensive.

    One chap really struggled last year but a bit of forum magic (and Plodding Hippo) managed to sort him out at the very last second. Don't worry yet - you'll get sorted, but you might just need to explain the above to your GP.

    And don;t let this put you off Paris - it's completely brilliant and everyone should do it at least once.
  • Thank you, that does put my mind at rest, I may go back to him if I do decide to do the race. Registration hasn't even opened yet so I am jumping the gun a little :-)
  • Just to emphasise, its not a get out clause for the organisers but is a legal requirement for all sports in France. Without a letter you can't even go to a pilates class. I have known people (and I don't know about the Paris marathon) get away with a sports club membership card (in France you can't get one without a letter and organisers don't realise its not the same in the UK)

    Here's the wording of my GP's letter.
    Je sousigne, cerifie avoir examine, ce jour (name)
    Je declare n'avoir pas constate de contra-indication, cliniquement decelable, a la pratique de l'activite suivant:
    Course a pied (date and Doctors stamp)

    (there are accents but I couldn't get them to work on here)
    so basically your doctor says he's examined you and there are no clinically detectable contraindications to running.
  • thanks, this all helps. My phrasing of 'get out clause' may have been ill chosen I didn't mean it in a derogatory way towards the organisers.
  • and , of course, it has been known for people to fake their own certificates
  • sounds like something out of 'the great escape'
  • Hello, update for you. I am now running Paris 2008 and my doctor sorted me out a certificate. If anyone else is going see you there image
  • Jim

    Glad it's all sorted! I'm doing Paris this year, for my first marathon, not sorted medical certificate yet though. There's a lively thread elsewhere on the Paris marathon - come and join us!

    Have you sorted travel / accomodation / started training?

  • yes, accomodation and eurostar all booked, started training in december for it so all good so far!

    Do you have a link to the other forum? 

  • Try this :

    If not, it's called Paris Marathon 2008, and is on the first page of event threads at the moment...

  • The reason why your NHS doctor charges a fee is because the National Health Service, funded by taxpayers and free at point of care, has not been invented to support the private delights of UK residents. Marathon running cannot by any standard be considered a health need. 

    Just like malaria tablets for summer holidays, Viagra, etc this is entirely our pleasure and not common civic interest. 

    If you cough up the fees and travel expenses to go running around other peoples capitals (not to mention equipment), PLEASE don't start moaning about the fee that a highly trained professional charges for their time. 

    In my experience these fees are very fair and a lot less than you would expect for say a house surveyor who spends 10 minutes measuring your flat when you remortgage. 

    Get it done, get it done professionally, think about what the NHS was set out to do, don't waste your GPs time, stop moaning. 

    Rant over.

  • Highly trained professional ?

    We are talking about NHS GP's ?
  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    I thought the NHS wanted us to be more healthy.

    They give out free advice to fat people that want to get into exercise.

    Also why bother resurrecting a thread that's over 5 yrs old.
  • Christopher is right though. It's not within NHS duty to issue a certificate to take part in foreign races. Apart from that, NHS is looking after nearly all your health needs, free of charge at the point of access. Get some perspective.
  • CindersCinders ✭✭✭
    Perspective of what? A runner being healthy and keeping fit. Wouldn't the NHS want more of that?

    Why did Christopher dig up an old thread?
  • Perspective as in NHS, stretched as it is whilst doing a great job, concentrating on treatment and prevention of serious conditions. Not issuing a certificate for a French marathon is hardly going to put people off running, is it?
  • CindersCinders ✭✭✭
    So who would sign yours if u had won the Medoc comp?
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