Overall Rating
Overall Rating (10 Reviews)
4.3
(10 Ratings)(10 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2.5
SCENERY
4.8
PRODUCTION
3.8
SWAG
3.6
The Schneider Electric Marathon de Paris offers a unique opportunity to make the city yours by participating in one of the most prestigious races over the legendary 42.195 km distance. The Schneider Electric Marathon de Paris is now one of the biggest marathons in the world, as much for the … MORE
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Recent reviews

    robertjjeffers FIRST-TIMER '19

    As a destination race, the location is magnificent and I would rate the trip as a five star experience. I traveled with my family (two children and wife). The scores … MORE

    As a destination race, the location is magnificent and I would rate the trip as a five star experience. I traveled with my family (two children and wife). The scores are specific to the actual race production, which could be improved.

    Pro’s
    Location = The scenery is amazing, how often can you go for a run and see the Louvre, Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower. Some great views along the course, with many more landmarks en route.

    Course – The course is very flat, definitely a race to get a PR. There is some cobblestone, but I wear Hoka’s so didn’t notice it much. If you wear more of a racing flat, you’ll feel them. The last 4 miles have some slight inclines. Nothing that will knock you out, but something that might slow your pace, so keep that in mind if you are going for a particular time.

    Things to be aware of:

    No power drinks or synthetic carbs – This is billed as a very green race, so everything at the aid stations are natural. They hand out small water bottles that you then throw into recycle bins. I found this to be better than cups as you can easily run with the bottle without spilling and get more liquid. There are no sports drinks like Gatorade, so if you are use to that you will need to bring or you could carry tablets to drop in the bottle. You won’t see Gu either, the food was natural – bananas, pretzels, oranges, sugar cubes. Do not take food or drink from spectators especially near the end. Apparently it is funny to try to get a marathoner to grab a “sports drink” which is really wine or fruit that is really cheese.

    Cons

    Pre race info – The amount of information in the runners guide was essentially a 12 page PowerPoint presentation. Very lite on details. The map is hard to zoom in on to get details. You run through a tunnel, which you would never know looking at the map. Very little information on bag drop. I only figured out that you needed to go to the finish line to drop your bags through help from someone on Facebook. The start and finish are relatively close, but with the crowds and security it’s a good 30 minute round trip from start to finish. Other races of this size go to excruciating detail about every aspect, which I find helps calm my nerves.

    Aid stations = While well staffed and supplied, they are rather few. It’s advertised as every 5k, but that’s an aproximation. For example the first one is at 7k. You should take note of the actual locations. We had perfect weather at 40s F. So this spacing was ok. However, if there had been any sort of heat, I think a lot of people would be hurting.

    Medal – I don’t know what happened this year and I am not usually a medal snob, but this was a joke. It’s a gold medal the word Paris, the distance and the year in blue white and red. That’s it, no Eiffel Tower, no design, nothing. Maybe it’s some minimalist design I don’t get, but doesn’t feel like a lot of effort was put into this one.

    Overall I had a great time. I’m slow so was happy with my PR. If Paris is on your list of destinations, this is a fun race. It’s not up to the production values of the similarly sized world majors like NY, Tokyo, London,..but if you go in knowing to expect you’ll be fine. In addition it’s much much cheaper than any of the world marathons especially if you sign up early and you don’t have to go into a lottery to get in.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    2

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    Ckrueger4 FIRST-TIMER '16

    It takes a long time to start the race because of the shear number of people competing. The race was great and the medals and end party were a lot … MORE

    It takes a long time to start the race because of the shear number of people competing. The race was great and the medals and end party were a lot of fun. I would recommend this race.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    Trevinds FIRST-TIMER '18

    From the moment I landed at CDG Airport, my experience in Paris, France, was a good one. Getting from the Airport to the hotel I was staying at was not … MORE

    From the moment I landed at CDG Airport, my experience in Paris, France, was a good one. Getting from the Airport to the hotel I was staying at was not difficult – following the directions that was provided by the Travel and Tour Agency were easy to follow. There are a couple of ways in getting to the hotel – taxi, or bus – I took the bus, only because it’s less expensive than going by taxi. The same applies in getting from the hotel to the expo, and return – took the metro. There was a little time where I found myself getting turned around in circles on getting out of the metro – it would have helped if I knew that “sortie” meant “exit.” The Expo was pretty large with a lot of vendors. Getting to the start of the race, and to the assigned coral, from my hotel was all about 10-15 minutes. The Finish Line back to the hotel was about 20 minutes. Overall not too bad. There were plenty of water throughout the course, with cut up oranges, bananas, and other munchies. Spectator support was good throughout the city, but not so much when outside the city limits. The only downside to this event was the Finish Line – Men’s Finishers T-Shirt ran out, and what was given instead were Women’s Finishers T-Shirt until these too ran out. It was reported that some runners eventually lost out on getting a T-Shirt, and a medal – they also ran out – but, I understand that medals will be mailed out. It is still somewhat disappointing since some runners ran their 1st marathon in Paris, and having nothing to take home to show off their accomplishment. I don’t know if the race organization will be able to mail out any Finishers T-Shirts upon request, but I have sent an email to see if this can be done. Overall, not a bad race – oh, one last thing – there are cobblestones, but they are sporadic – the end of the race, when your legs are worn out, I found them to be a little more difficult than the early batches. Recommendation: make sure u put in the road work training so that u end up having a good time, and finish early enough to get both a T-Shirt, and a Medal.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

    2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

    M_Sohaskey Apr 25, 2018 at 9:31pm

    I think you're the official RaceRaves resident expert on cobblestone running, World Traveler! :) I didn't realize so many European courses featured them along the course, though I guess I shouldn't be too surprised. I'm hoping to follow in your footsteps one day soon with both Paris and Rome, though preferably in a year when they're on back-to-back weekends so I can run both in a single trip. And tough to imagine a major marathon like Paris running out of medals, that's kind of bizarre. Thanks for another excellent review, and for letting me live vicariously through your travels — like you, I feel pretty much every marathon is calling my name, so your own experiences are helpful in channeling my FOMO!

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    Trevinds Apr 26, 2018 at 4:34am

    To date, and by far, and in my opinion, the worst course is the Prague Marathon - very huge cobblestones. The Race Director for Prague was at the finish line meeting the runners, and when he happened to see my bid and the American Flag on it, he spoke to me for a while and asked how I liked the marathon - "I thoroughly enjoyed it, but those cobblestones....." He replied with, "yes, it requires runners who practice running on the cobblestones to get use to them...." With that said, if u plan on going to Prague, do it after running Rome, Paris. The other cities weren't too bad (not as big, and a little smoother), unless it happens to rain - then, they (cobblestones) become slippery and can cause some injuries. But as I see it, going abroad to run in a marathon is worth it all. Every person I met at these events made the whole experience that much enjoyable. I went through Marathon Tours and Travel for my trips to Paris, Rome, and Stockholm - they did a fantastic job on all the arrangements. The trip coordinator for Paris is aware of the medals, and men's finisher's t-shirts, running out, and is working with the organization in Paris to get this corrected. I wish you well, and hope that u are able to follow all your dreams in running some marathons abroad.

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    M_Sohaskey Apr 26, 2018 at 12:11pm

    Much appreciated, Rome and Paris are definitely high on the list! We've also traveled with our friends at Marathon Tours on several occasions, and I'm sure it's nice to have them in your corner on this one, so you don't have to correspond/haggle with the race directly. Our next couple of trips with them will likely be Tokyo and London to finish up the Majors, and then the schedule opens up for some of the other excellent events you've talked about here on the site. Best wishes to you as well, and hope we have the chance to meet somewhere in this small world very soon!

     

    Water only every few miles, but full bottles you can carry along. Great crowd support. Starting on Champs Elysees means minimal early congestion. MORE

    Water only every few miles, but full bottles you can carry along. Great crowd support. Starting on Champs Elysees means minimal early congestion.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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    ramaduraiv FIRST-TIMER '17

    Lots of runners 57,000! In spite of wave start expect to run shoulder to shoulder for good part of the race, especially at water stops. No sports drink available and … MORE

    Lots of runners 57,000! In spite of wave start expect to run shoulder to shoulder for good part of the race, especially at water stops. No sports drink available and being a hot day, water breaks every 5 or 6 km was a bit challenging in second half of the race

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    Jackiejo1979 REPEAT RUNNER '16

    There is a time limit for this marathon (6 or 6.5 hrs). You're placed in a corral based on projected finish time, however, you can change corrals at the Expo. … MORE

    There is a time limit for this marathon (6 or 6.5 hrs). You’re placed in a corral based on projected finish time, however, you can change corrals at the Expo. Slower runners can gain 2+ hrs by moving up a few corrals. Scenery in this marathon is fantastic. Aid stations have run out of water, bring your own bottle for refilling from hoses.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    notafastrunner FIRST-TIMER '16

    Vast race expo. Race day - Leave extra time to get into your starting corral... Fenced off & difficult to find entry points! On course nutrition = piles of raisins, … MORE

    Vast race expo. Race day – Leave extra time to get into your starting corral… Fenced off & difficult to find entry points! On course nutrition = piles of raisins, sugar cubes, orange slices & bottles of water. Large post-race area for runners only. Pick meeting point in advance!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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    fernandog FIRST-TIMER '15

    A race that starts at "arc de triomphe" cannot be anything than epic. Flat and super scenic, particularly running along the Champs Elysees or parallel to the Seine river with … MORE

    A race that starts at “arc de triomphe” cannot be anything than epic. Flat and super scenic, particularly running along the Champs Elysees or parallel to the Seine river with a gorgeous view of the Eiffel Tower…It helps that I work for the company that had the title sponsor this year, so we got VIP treatment at the expo and on race day 🙂

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    Otter FIRST-TIMER '15

    What an amazing marathon! It turns out that Paris in the springtime is pretty damn great, and our friends across the pond know how to put on a good race. … MORE

    What an amazing marathon! It turns out that Paris in the springtime is pretty damn great, and our friends across the pond know how to put on a good race. The race weekend itself was a blast, from the expo to the Saturday morning Breakfast Run (more on that below) to the race itself. Here are some thoughts in no particular order:

    THE GOOD:
    –Race expo was laid out quite sensibly– it was easy for me to get in and out quickly, but I could have spent quite a while there. Bonus points for the expo being very easily accessible by metro/public transit.
    –The course itself was incredible, starting on the Champs-Elysses (in the shadow of the Arc de Triomphe) and heading east through the heart of Paris before reaching Vincennes and coming back west. Running along the banks of the River Seine, looking up at the Notre Dame cathedral across the shore, was among the most peaceful moments in marathon racing that I’ve ever had. The course was a great mixture of city streets, neighborhoods, and green parks.
    –The swag was pretty good! All registrants got a drawstring backpack that included a SPIbelt-type waist belt and a poncho for race morning (nice touch), and finishers received an Asics finisher’s shirt at the end of the race along with a medal. If you wanted to spring 7ish euros for a beer at the end, you also received a cool-looking marathon pint glass (plastic, but good quality). There was plenty of very reasonably-priced merchandise available at the expo, and I picked up another race tech shirt, which I almost never do.
    –There was a pretty good selection of food for finishers, and if you wanted some hot food, there was a huge selection of reasonably-priced food vendors just outside of the area where you pick up your bag from gear check.
    –It was definitely a party atmosphere at the end of the race
    –The crowd support was excellent, significantly better than what I found at the Berlin Marathon. Many chants of “Allez, allez!” along the way
    –THE BREAKFAST RUN WAS SO GREAT. The morning before the marathon, the Paris Marathon holds a 5K “breakfast run” that a little starts west of the Arc de Triumph and ends right by the Eiffel Tower. You have to pre-register for this, but for only *7 EUROS*, you get a tech shirt, a small flag from your home country to carry, a leisurely/untimed jog through closed city streets, and a continental-style breakfast at the end of the run. It was really well-done, and I’d highly recommend it to anyone running this race.

    THE “MEH”
    –The Paris Marathon’s gear check is located at the finish line, so that they don’t have to transport any gear during the race. It works well that you can get your gear shortly after you finish, but it’s a good mile from the starting line, so be prepared for a non-insignificant walk before you run a marathon.

    THE BAD:
    –Aid stations were located only every 5K, which is a departure from the frequency of aid stations at American races, and the only beverage available was bottled water. There was no sports drink at any of the aid stations. This isn’t even close to a dealbreaker, and I knew this coming in, but you’ll want to make sure that you have GUs / salt tabs / electrolyte tabs on your person. It got quite warm on race day, with temperatures reaching the 70s, and I wilted a bit at the end. Extra aid stations in the 2nd half of the race would have been very welcome.

    OVERALL IMPRESSION: This race was incredible, maybe my favorite behind Chicago and New York. I’d put Paris in the same tier as Big Sur and ahead of Berlin, this race deserves a spot on anyone’s running bucket list.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    anawoj FIRST-TIMER '06

    If you're looking for a marathon to run in Europe, Paris is an awesome place to start. The race takes place in the springtime, which is when the flowers are … MORE

    If you’re looking for a marathon to run in Europe, Paris is an awesome place to start. The race takes place in the springtime, which is when the flowers are blooming in Paris and the weather is generally pretty nice. You’ll feel the energy of this big city marathon at the Expo and Pasta Dinner, where runners from around the world congregate and fuel up for the big day.

    It’s an impressive sight with 30,000+ runners lining up on the famous Champs Elysees on the morning of the marathon with the Arc de Triomphe prominently displayed in the background. The Paris Marathon has a relatively flat course that takes you through the heart of the city and past several of its most well-known landmarks, including the Louvre, the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Eiffel Tower, and the Arc de Triomphe… with a good amount of time running right along the banks of the River Seine. The crowd support was quite good the year I ran it, and you’ll hear the chant “Allez! Allez!” many times as you weave through the city streets.

    Paris is definitely a marathon I’d do again… and the best part is indulging on the Nutella covered crepes after the race is over, which can be found all around the city 🙂

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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