La Parisienne race recap

I completed the 18th edition of La Parisienne, an all women’s road race in Paris this morning. As usual it was fun, I loved the atmosphere and generally had a great time. Here goes :

Up at 6 a.m. to get ready. I had laid everything out the night before and charged my watch and Ipod.

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Out of the house at 7 a.m. as we had an early RDV with my colleagues. There was no one on the metro, but it filled up as we got closer and closer to the race departure spot.

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Our meeting point was at Trocadero. I got there 30 minutes early so went and had coffee and used the bathroom in a cafe.

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The meeting point, Palais Chaillot is a favorite spot for pictures in Paris. Several couples dressed in wedding clothes, models, sword swallowers, guys selling souvenirs already… you see it all at 8 a.m. on a Sunday. I am sure they were not very happy to have tons of runners in their pictures.

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Love the photo bomb. Looks like they are standing on my head.

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Once our colleagues were there we headed down to the point of departure, on the Iena Bridge, near the Eiffel Tower. The race leaves in waves, every 7 minutes. The waves are not by time, it is just a crowd management tactic. Waves leave from 9:45 a.m. to noon, and we always try to get in the first waves to avoid the crowd. Yeah, we were in wave 2. We still had to wait about 90 minutes before we got to run.

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Reebok is one of the sponsors and they are on top of the pink truck, leading the crowd through some dynamic warm up while waiting. There was also the Paris mayor.

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There were so many people, over 35 000 had signed up. Many people walk and most are there to have fun. If you are there to win, you leave in the first wave. If not, you will spend the first 3 km of the race weaving through runners / walkers. A lot of people walk, the streets are narrow, so the beginning is really really slow. After the first 3 km you have a little more space.


It was a gorgeous day and the streets were packed. I had never seen so many people. There are bands playing music along the route which add to the atmosphere.

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The race finishes on the Champs de Mars, at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. I finished in 37’07”. After I had cleared the first few kilometers I was running really fast and thought my time would have been better. But that’s ok.

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With my colleagues we then go an have something to drink. I am glad we got there early because it turned really hot. As usual, we have a great time and I look forward to it every year.

Want more details about the history of the race ? Check out this post.

How was your weekend ? Any racing ?

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Comments: 8

  1. Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner September 14, 2014 at 9:19 pm Reply

    ooh running right in front of the Eiffel tower sounds like a blast!
    Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner recently posted…200 must haves for a 200 mile Ragnar Relay-An Overpacker’s GuideMy Profile

    • Karen - French Inspiration September 15, 2014 at 7:49 am Reply

      There are a ton of races in Paris, always going by monuments. So much fun!

  2. Britt@MyOwnBalance September 16, 2014 at 2:12 pm Reply

    I can’t believe you had to wait 90 minutes just to start! That is so long! But the race looks really fun with a lot of great scenery!
    Britt@MyOwnBalance recently posted…Pregnancy SuperfoodsMy Profile

    • Karen - French Inspiration September 17, 2014 at 9:30 pm Reply

      Lots of great scenery indeed… one of the advantages of Paris !

  3. Tina@GottaRunNow September 17, 2014 at 7:43 pm Reply

    That’s a great finish time! Sounds like a huge race, but I’d love to run a race in Paris so I’m sure I’d want to run in this race, too!
    Tina@GottaRunNow recently posted…Tips from Deena KastorMy Profile

    • Karen - French Inspiration September 17, 2014 at 9:28 pm Reply

      It is huge… fun, but often I prefer somethings smaller.

  4. Darlene September 19, 2014 at 1:52 pm Reply

    Wow. This would be dream for me. I read your blog with envy. Someday maybe I’ll get back to Paris.
    Darlene recently posted…TTT: Exercising, Running Groups & the WeekendMy Profile

    • Karen - French Inspiration September 19, 2014 at 7:58 pm Reply

      Thanks for stopping by. Glad you enjoy my blog.

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