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A Look at the Famous Paris Marathon and its Unique Atmosphere

1 February 2017

26 miles. 42,195 metres. Standing at the beginning of a marathon, with the gruelling course stretching out ahead of you, can be a daunting prospect (especially if you're attempting your first run). However, any lingering trepidation as you shuffle your way to the start line will be dwarfed by the sense of accomplishment, pride and even relief you're rewarded with when you cross that finish line a few hours later.

With its huge popularity, amazing support and world-famous route, Paris is the perfect place to take the plunge in your first marathon. We take a look at why the Parisian event is one of the most well-known and best loved races on the running calendar.

An Unrivalled Route

Starting near the Arc de Triomphe, runners head east along the famous Champs Élysées before heading past the Place de la Concorde at the one-mile mark. Shortly after the third-mile marker, you'll head past the Bastille and make your way down the Bois de Vincennes. A six-mile jaunt around the picturesque park sees you exit on the Rue de Charonne. The good news is you've almost reached the halfway marker at this point.

At approximately 15 miles in, you'll find yourself running along the north bank of the Seine. It's at this point that runners will start to hit the dreaded 'wall', but you'll have the likes of the Notre-Dame, Musée d'Orsay and Eiffel Tower on hand to take your mind off it. Finally, as you hit the 21-mile point, you head in to the city's other major park, the Bois de Boulogne, for the final five miles before crossing that magical finishing line.

The Parisian Marathon Twist

Like any big marathon, city locals are keen to show their support for those who've taken up the challenge. Paris is certainly no different, with thousands of Parisians and visitors from further afield lining the route, come rain or shine. While the crowd is a huge mental boost, the refuelling stations offer a much more physical boost. In classic French style, along with water and energy drinks, you can enjoy a glass of wine or cider, or even some delicious oysters, all at your own risk of course.

The Hottest Marathon Ticket Around

With this unique mix of sightseeing, French hospitality and gruelling running, the Paris marathon is notoriously competitive when it comes to securing a place. As of writing, there are still spaces available for the 2017 edition on the 9th April; but places are quickly disappearing so book soon to avoid disappointment.

A Hotel Just Minutes' From the Chequered Flag

Both pre and post run, the biggest annoyance is making your way to and from your hotel. Metro lines reach capacity and traffic comes to a standstill. The five-star Hotel Balzac is only a matter of minutes from the start and finish lines, meaning you'll be back in the lap of luxury in no time at all. If you've already secured your place or are heading to Paris to give your support, we have a variety of offers featuring an assortment of luxury rooms or suites; with discounts for advanced booking and longer stays.

Post-Marathon Indulgences

After months of commitment to the marathon, that has likely entailed gruelling training and all manner of sacrifices; it’s time to revel in your achievement of completing the 26 mile tour of Paris… and Hotel Balzac is the perfect place to do so.

Your body will no doubt be in need of some TLC, and our extensive range of in-house spa treatments offer a variety of relaxing, energising or deep tissue massages; as well as various body treatments that will ease your post-marathon suffering.

If it’s indulgence you’re after, look no further than Pierre Gagnaire’s 3-Star flagship restaurant; delivering a sumptuous menu of modern French cuisine (advanced booking strongly advised)... and in the evening, the soothing ambiance of our Lounge Bar is the perfect place to unwind with some of the finest cocktails in the city.

During the marathon, you were probably too preoccupied to truly appreciate the sites located along the route; so now is the perfect time to explore the city. Hotel Balzac is located a mere thirty seconds away from the Champs Elysées, which is home to iconic monuments like the Arc de Triomphe; and a two-minute walk takes you to Avenue Montaigne and Avenue George V, where you can find some of the finest nightlife, shopping and cuisine in the world.

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