The second largest marathon in the world, the Schneider Electric Paris Marathon attracts 65,000 runners to the French capital for an incredible route, an international EXPO and a great opportunity for a weekend break.
International marathons are always incredible events: London, Berlin, New York and Tokyo all have their own unique offerings that draw thousands of runners from around the world. None have a setting with the same rich culture, heritage and charisma as Paris, though.
The French capital is a breathtaking city that is the perfect location for a major running event: its route is dotted with grand landmarks, it is supported by a huge, three-day expo and many runners stay in Paris for an extended stay after the run!
Although the current version of the Paris Marathon has been running for 46 years, making it one of the oldest modern marathons in the world, the original Tour de Paris marathon dates back to 1896. The event has grown and grown in popularity since those original 191 runners raced through the streets of Paris, with a massive 65,000 runners expected to take part in 2023.
General entries and charity places are still available for the next edition, which takes place on Sunday 2 April 2023. Here, we've highlighted exactly what to expect from the race itself, as well as advice on how to turn your entry into a full weekend experience of Paris!
One of the grandest and most beautiful cities in the world, Paris is an incredible place to stage a marathon and the route is full of stunning views. Some of the most iconic moments are listed below!
A start line steeped in history. Beginning on the Champs-Elysées, which is incredible in itself, the route descends to Place de la Concorde, the site of many famous executions during the French Revolution. This short section is held on cobbled streets, just to emphasise the historic nature of your run.
Crowds ease past the Louvre. A staggered start is employed to avoid the route becoming too congested but it's still a very busy first mile, so the crowds start to ease up as you approach Palais Garnier and, shortly afterwards, the iconic glass pyramid of the Louvre.
Long roads and green spaces. As you move past Place de la Bastille and the July Column, the course soon turns onto Avenue Daumesnil, the longest road in Paris. This allows faster runners to move ahead as the route descends into Bois de Vincennes, the largest public park in the city. Woodland, open fields and lakes encompass this beautiful area, with the route approaching its halfway mark on exiting the park.
Back to Bastille. The route returns into central Paris via Rue de Charenton, returning to Place de la Bastille on the southern side of the square. From here, the run tours some of Paris' most incredible landmarks, including Notre Dame cathedral, the Conciergerie and the Grand Palais.
Follow the Seine. Runners will track the course of the River Seine westwards, past the iconic Eiffel Tower. That landmark stands at around 18 miles, so it's a welcome and inspirational sight for runners whose legs are starting flag!
The final green miles. As the route leaves the Seine behind and enters Bois de Boulogne, you can be reassured that the finish line is not too much further! Runners will wind through these woods with one more challenge ahead them: a steady incline as the route rises to Avenue Foch, with the Arc de Triomphe standing close to the finish line.
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The three-day marathon expo, known as Run Experience, is one of the biggest draws to the Schneider Electric Paris Marathon. Thousands of attendees to travel to Porte de Versailles between March 30 and April 1 2023 for this collection of running brands, charity stands, wellness presentations and much more!
The headline attraction of Run Experience is the 200m multi-surface track running through the expo, which features sections for trail running, road running and track running. Attendees are invited to try out new products on the track and get tips from expert coaches, including exclusive sessions and races from exhibitors. Inside the track will be exhibitor stands and a chill zone!
Meet chiropodists and osteopaths, get insights on running recovery and receive a pre-race massage from expert therapists. Everything you need to upgrade your performance!
There are a wide range of exhibitors at Run Experience showcasing health and fitness technology, VR training apps, a specific area for new innovations in running kit and much, much more. Attendees are encouraged to get involved with the exhibits and trial different shoes, sports watches, sunglasses, and anything else that could help them on race day.
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Visiting Paris is perfectly possible within a day thanks to the Eurostar but if you're going to head across for the marathon, it's worth considering turning your visit into a longer break, not least because your legs will need a rest after 26.2 miles! Here's a brief guide to visiting the French capital on race weekend.
Although you'll want to book accommodation close to the start and finish of the marathon, given that these are close to the Champs-Elysées and Arc de Triomphe, nearby hotels can have eye-wateringly high rates. Instead, pick a boutique hotel close to the Run Experience expo in the 15th Arrondissement, which is a simple Metro ride into the city centre. This relaxed area is full of cafes and bistros - perfect for post-race lounging.
The Metro is the most convenient way of travelling around Paris and the one that involves the least brainpower - perfect for tired minds after a 26.2-mile run. It is also, however, the busiest. Your options are to book your tickets in advance to avoid long queues at the ticket machines or, if possible, to use the Vélib bike share scheme, which offers tens of thousands of bikes available from 1400 different stations around the city. Some of these are electric, which will help anyone feeling the effects of the marathon!
Where to begin? The City of Lights has a huge range of museums, art galleries, musicals and other cultural exhibits to explore, not to mention the incredible landmarks that the marathon passes by. A cruise along the Seine will be perfect for tired legs, while exploring the Louvre is a must for anyone who has never been to Paris.
For a relaxed cafe with a touch of nostalgia, head to La Fontaine de Belleville, a restored 1920s bistro with original features and fantastic coffee. The Jardins de Luxembourg is perfect for relaxed strolling and people watching, though there's also Disneyland Paris if your legs are feeling up for it (and for a very different vibe).
Sign me up for the Paris Marathon
General entries are still open for the Schneider Electric Paris Marathon - simply head to our Paris Marathon listing for the event and click on 'enter now'!
Also open are charity entries, which have many benefits compared to a standard entry. To secure your place, select a charity from our charity place listings - you will see a range of available charities, which can be filtered by cause and name, as well as by selecting the charities with the lowest sign-up fees and lowest fundraising requirements. Apply to run for a charity can help to secure your place in the second biggest marathon in the world while also enjoying some exclusive benefits.
Committing to the raise money for a charity through your entry will help to elevate your race day experience - as you support the charity, they will support you. While the exact support you will receive will differ between organisations, you can generally expect:
Fundraising support, including advice on events and access to branded materials.
A branded t-shirt to run in.
Access to the brand's post-event celebration, often including food and a massage.
A cheer squad on the day of the event to spur you on.
Access to exclusive social media groups.
Training support and advice on how to prepare for the event.
The Schneider Electric Paris Marathon returns on Sunday 2 April 2023 and is expected to be the biggest edition of this fantastic event ever. As one of the world's most prestigious marathons, you can expect a brilliantly organised event that tours the city's most iconic landmarks and vistas, with a great medal waiting at the end. To find out more, just click below.