Lots to learn : marathon race recaps

I have signed up for the 2016 Paris Marathon. Needless to say, I am really excited. I have never done a marathon so I spent some time over the past couple weeks reading race recaps from the 2015 Marathon. It was so interesting to read different perspectives on the same race.

2015-04-11 09.09.11

Not only did this increase my motivation but here are just a few things I hadn’t thought of :

  • Dress like it was 20 degrees warmer
  • Bring toilet paper
  • Be careful of speed bumps !
  • Bring a change of clothes for when you are done
  • Have your family / friends have a change of clothes / socks during the race, in case
  • Anti chaffe cream ? Need to try it

… and as a spectator, I would say keep your distance from the pacers. There was always a crowd running around them, and if you just hang back 50 meters, you will have a lot more space !

2015-04-12 11.01.34


Here is a selection of those that I enjoyed most.

In English :

Stephanie from Food and Fitness 4 real

Sue from This mama runs for cupcakes

Beyond Defeat

Hot dogs to haggis

Erin’s race recap

The world of Harv

Our Goodwin Journey

Liyl Run

Twins in trainers

In French


Call of the run


And finally, …as I live in France and run my races here, there are things that surprised foreign runners, things that came up in several of the race recaps. Notably :

  • The need to show a medical certificate. Yes, in every single race in France you need to show this. Even a 5K !
  • There are bananas and oranges that make the course slippery. True and agree 100%. In many races. I still haven’t figured out why race organisers continue to provide these fruits that can be so dangerous for runners.
  • People cross the streets while you are running. Yes, they do. French people are not always disciplined and if they need to get to the other side of the street, they will. Recently I saw a dog in the middle of the runners. So dangerous !


I learned a lot and will definitely go back to these posts for future inspiration. Congrats to all those who ran the big race !

If you had one piece of advice to give to me for my first marathon, what would it be ?


Comments: 11

  1. Jennifer April 29, 2015 at 12:41 pm Reply

    Yayyy congrats on signing up for your first marathon! Enjoy the journey and it is nice you have this blog to document it all. I know there was a weekend or two I missed a run (vacation) and I was unhappy that I did. In the long run, did not hurt me – I wanted to finish. Thanks for sharing the recaps! I haven’t announced it on my blog yet….but I hopefully I’ll see you in Paris in April 2016!
    Jennifer recently posted…2015 Chicago Marathon – Am I IN or OUT?My Profile

  2. Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes May 1, 2015 at 12:34 pm Reply

    Still so excited for you! Thanks for the shoutout!!
    Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes recently posted…Friday Five: 5 Ways to Ensure a successful race dayMy Profile

    • Karen - French Inspiration May 1, 2015 at 1:14 pm Reply

      Thank you ! I am sure my blog is going to veer heavily towards a “Preparing the Paris Marathon 2016 blog” before this adventure is over !

  3. Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes May 1, 2015 at 12:35 pm Reply

    BTW, have you thought about setting up an email subscription so readers know when new posts come out? I would love to read your posts daily, but sometimes I forget!
    Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes recently posted…Friday Five: 5 Ways to Ensure a successful race dayMy Profile

    • Karen - French Inspiration May 1, 2015 at 1:15 pm Reply

      Thanks for the suggestion. Definitely need to set that up. I just added a twitter button today… but I am always technically challenged with this kind of thing.

  4. Melanie @ Happy Being Healthy May 2, 2015 at 6:16 am Reply

    That’s just so cool you signed up for your first marathon, especially in PARIS! Lucky! I’ve never done a marathon, but I think I would like to some day. That’s interesting that you need to show a medical certificate even for a 5k!
    Melanie @ Happy Being Healthy recently posted…I Love Running + I Don’t Like Watching My Babies Grow Up!My Profile

    • Karen - French Inspiration May 2, 2015 at 7:24 am Reply

      I never thought I would sign up for a marathon, but it is one of those things that nagged the back of my brain for a while. I figured I wasn’t getting any older, and timing with work was right. I think you need to have the mental availability. Lots of people say it isn’t the race that is tough, but the training.

  5. Renée @pinkypie May 6, 2015 at 9:46 am Reply

    YAY!! so excited for you! As you know I also did Paris this year as my first marathon and I loved it. It’s taken me a while but I did post some tips and now part one of the recap. But… if I would give any one tip it would be: Choose a training plan that fits your lifestyle, then follow it as much to a T as you can. If you do that you’ll be fine on the day of the race.

    Hopefully we can stay in touch and even meet up before the big day next year!!
    Renée @pinkypie recently posted…The Marathon Recap – Paris Edition! Part 1My Profile

    • Karen - French Inspiration May 6, 2015 at 11:42 am Reply

      Thanks for commenting and for the tip. I did enjoy your posts and let’s indeed keep in touch !

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