Paris Marathon

Hi All,


I've been trying to get into runing on and off for about 2 years now, and I think I've finally managed to get into the swing of it. Just finished my third ParkRun last week in a time of 31:22 - slow for most on here I'm sure but pretty quick for me.

I'm currently just under 19st (having been as high as 25st about 3 years ago) and I'm finally feeling like I can push on and get a bit more distance in each run. I finished a 10.5k run a couple of weeks ago and have been training for the Major Series North run this Sunday which I'm hoping to get round without dying...

I have another run (Pain Barrier) in December but other than that nothing planned, and I'm seriously thinking of taking on a marathon. My first thought was to try to work my way up to it through next year, lose some more weight, and maybe do something in Spring 2014, but then having read through booktrunk's thread it really inspired me to go for it sooner.

I know there will be alot of training involved, and I'm quite prepared to stick to a plan (or at least try my best to!) but my main question is over whether the Paris Marathon would be a good first marathon to go for. I think it will be enough time to train, but is it a 'beginner friendly' marathon? And will it cost me a fortune to stay there?


  • Well done on the weight loss, Craig, that's fantastic. And actually, 31 minutes at 19 stone is pretty impressive, I'd say.

    As for Paris, I've not done it, though like you, am considering it. Someone else can conform this (or otherwise) but from what I can see it's a pretty flat course with just a few modest bumps. Here is the race profile --

    I would say it would be a good first marathon though one important caveat is that there is a cut-off time of 5:40, so if you're not sure about finishing in that time you might want to reconsider. Also, Paris requires a medical certificate from your doctor, which is a standard condition in some countries.

    A really good site for research is They are a bit lackadaisical about exact dates of races but the reviews are very informative. Hamburg is very flat and gets huge crowd support. Copenhagen, Zurich (5 hour cut-off) and Rotterdam are other very flat spring marathons. There will be many others, but those are ones I have done or know about.

    I wish the best of luck. Your record so far looks fantastic, and with that sort of determination I've no doubt you can get round a marathon. 


  • Craig, what about having a look at the Paris 2013 thread here

    Paris was the first marathon for lots of us and if online/race co-runners appeal to you, I can promise you that you'll be well-supported.

    There is a cut-off but if you look at last year's times you'll see that 6hr 30 runners were still being recorded.The last stages of the race are in the wood so traffic is not a problem. RC makes a very good point about the Medical Certificate and cost is always something to think about. I've made some notes about the course and the weekedn in general.If you message me an email address, I'll post them to you.


  • Thanks for the responses. I didn't kill myself on the Major Series yesterday - in fact I felt pretty fresh at the end (queuing for obstacles admittely healped a lot). Not so fresh after the drive home admittedly - my knees/legs are in shreds from the crawling...!

    I put a plan together for the Paris marathon on the asics site and it would have been starting tomorrow, which left no leway for any niggles/injuries, and I do sometimes get knee problems so I've decided to opt for the Manchester Marathon instead - gives me 3 weeks' worth of buffer in the plan in case I need to rest up for a week or 2 at some point...

  • Good luck with the training and the new diet regime, Craig. And for Manchester, of course.

  • I did Paris two years ago. Great for beginners, flat only worry is the cobbles on the Champs Elysees but these are pretty immarial.

    Food stations aren't great. Oranges etc! Need more than that. take some gels and some malt loaf (not chocolate though!) when I did it it was 25degrees.

    Bands all the way round. Amazing atmosphere. Wear your medal out in the City afterwards and look thepart. I loved it!

  • hello! i am new to the forum. just signed up for paris 2013. have some marathon experience (rome and london...rome was great but london absolutely awesome!) but not great times. aiming for sub 4:30 hrs this time and would be grateful for any's the crowd attendance for starters? rome was patchy and for long stretches no support at all.  

  • someone said the food stations weren't power drink?



  • Sayyied - The stations are fine. They do offer water and sports drink.

    If you want good information on the event the Paris 2013 thread in the events folder is the best place to ask


  • thanks! are you doing paris next year?





  • Hi Craig

    Congrats image

    Paris is a great first marathon for lots of reasons (it was my first one, back next year)

    1. easy to enter so thats one less hassle

    2. cheap (ish) to travel to

    3. no real jet lag and esy to get foods you are used to

    4. Its a fab (fairly flat) course, just a few small inclines out of the tunnels

    5. the scenery and iconic landmarks keep you going

    6. its a big crowd which will help you along and the spectators are good

    7. weather is generally reasonable

    8. start and finish in same place so easy for trael and spectators

    Hope this helpsimage



  • Craig - Paris is a fabulous marathon - I think I've run 11 now, 4 of them in Paris. Don't hang about too long as it will soon be full up. You can stay inexpensively in the city and you can also do the opposite. It's a very relative term. I'm not running it this year but will be going along just to see my buddies and have a good time image

    The race is well organised, there are many great sites, it is well supported and it is a relatively flat course. The elites are finishing only a couple of minutes off world record pace but there are plenty of people who take longer than 6 hours to get round.

    The best thing about Paris mara is the lively and friendly thread which renews itself every year. There are loads of experienced runners and visitors to paris so you'll get all the advice you need and a whole lot of nonsense you didn't need but probably would laugh at anyway. It's the link that ATM gave in the 3rd post.

    Stick your head in and find out what we are like for yourself image Cheers! TD.

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