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Paris Marathon Review » Course, Training & Travel Tips

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Paris Marathon Review: tips and details about the race course, the training and the trip to Paris!

The Paris Marathon 2023 will happen on April 2nd, if you are planning to race this spectacular event keep reading. I will share my experience in this race and give you tips about the course, where to stay and how I’ve trained for the Paris Marathon. 

A lot of runners dream to run the Paris Marathon. Others have doubts if it’s worth to be part of such a crowded competition. I’ll be honest, this race in Paris wasn’t in my plans. But destiny plays with us, one day before boarding on our around-the-world trip I got an email telling me that I won one slot on the race.  One year later, after crossing Europe, North Africa, and Southeast Asia, I was heading to Paris. Now it’s time to write our Paris Marathon Review and give you the best tips for the race and the trip.  

So, what to expect? A beautiful course, thousands of runners, a great atmosphere, and a well-organized race. I really enjoyed every moment, there were some issues that the organization could improve but overall it’s an excellent race. Let’s split our Paris Marathon Review into some useful topics:

» Paris Marathon Review Hotels – Where to stay in Paris?

First things first, book your hotel as soon as possible. With over 50.000 runners plus family, plus friends, it’s quite obvious that the best-located hotels in Paris will be booked months in advance.   To find the best place to stay in Paris you need to set a budget and then start the research. Bear in mind that location is the key. The best area to stay to run the Paris Marathon is near the Arc du Triumph, you will be close to the start and finish points. Have a look at this map:

Another option is to book a hotel near the metro, which is not hard, in Paris there are more than 240 metro stations in the city. Here are some suggestions for areas to stay in Paris:

Marais: It is a great area for bars and restaurants. Check the best offers at

La Villete: Quieter area with nice runs along the canal. Check the best offers here. 

Trocadero: A beautiful neighborhood quite near the start area. Have a look at the rates here

Or do your research on we really like their search tool and all the filters.  

Paris Marathon Review Tip: remember that metro lines 1,2 & 6 go directly to Charles de Gaulle Etoile station, where the race starts.


» Paris Marathon Entry Review

Registration can be made on the Schneider Electric Paris Marathon website. If you don’t get a slot there are 2 other options. To run for a charity or to book the race via a tour operator. The list of charities and official tour operators can be found here. The online process was easy and straightforward. I paid using my Brazilian credit card without any issues.


» Paris Marathon Expo Review

Paris Marathon Review: all you need to know about the race and the exposition center. Organize you trip to Paris Marathon and enjoy it!

Paris Marathon Review: how to enjoy the pre race exposition, get your race number and race bag.

The BIB & race bag are available a few days before the race at the Paris Marathon Expo, aka Le Salon du Running. It’s located at Parc de Expositions de la Porte de Versailles, to get there take the metro line 12 and drop at Porte de Versailles.

In order to get your race number and bag, you MUST present a medical certificate mentioning: “no contraindication to running in a competition”. Also, bring your passport or proof of identity and the confirmation email. With all the docs in hand took me less than 5 minutes to get my race number and bag. The staff was very polite and friendly, making jokes about my “french est tre bizarre”.

Paris Marathon Review! Details of the Salon du Running, the race course.
Le Salon du Running is huge! Over 200 expositors showcasing the latest products for athletes, from bandanas and compression socks to runners and smartwatches. There were several running & triathlon associations and other race organizations too. One that caught my attention was the Marathon du Medoc, run & wine, cool!

Paris Marathon Review Tip: go on the first day, it’s not so busy so you can enjoy more.



» Paris Marathon Course Review

Yes, it’s a stunning race. You have the streets of Paris to yourself, well, to you and another 50.000 runners. Anyway, the race starts on Champs Elysee heading to Place de La Concorde. Then Rue de Rivoli passing by Le Jardins de Tuileries, the Louvre Museum and La Place de la Bastille. From there runners will cross about 10km in the Bois de Vincennes Park and head back to La Bastille via Rue de Charenton.

 Paris Marathon Review – all the info about the race course and trainings

The Stunning Race Course! Paris Marathon Review: all you need to know about the race course, the training and travel tips!

Then it comes my favorite part, from km 23 till 31. The race follows the River Seine, with beautiful views from the Ile de la Cite, Pont Neuf, Museu d’orsi and Eiffel Tower. The last 10km passes by the Bois de Bolougne Park until reaching the finish line at Rue de Foch.

I thought that the Paris marathon course was a flat one. Wrong! Not that you will face steep hills but expect some ups & downs. In the end, my Garmin registered an elevation gain of 220 meters.


» Paris Marathon Race Day Review

The Arc du Triumph is the best landmark to plan your way to the marathon. Take the Paris metro and drop at Charles De Gaulle-Etoile station. The metro is efficient and is the best way to move around on the race day. We were staying in the 17th arrondissement and got to the race in about 40 minutes.

Paris Marathon Review: get to the start point by metro! All you need to know about the race course, the training and travel tips!

Paris Marathon Review: the best crowd in one of the most beautiful cities in the world!

The race officially starts at 8:06 am. Depending on your expected finishing time your start can be from 8:47 am to 10:30 am. I was expecting to finish in 4 hours, so I have to find my corral, and wait my start at 9:30 am.

As usual the main complaint in every single race, there are few toilets. Once you entered your corral you can’t go out and the toilets in that area weren’t enough for the thousands of runners. As a result, athletes using the streets of Paris as a toilet.

Paris Marathon Review: Champs Elysee the beginning of the race course! Training and travel tips to Paris Marathon!

I found quite hard to keep my pace among thousands of runners. The first 10km was to warm up, I didn’t stop at any aid station till Km15. Talking about aid stations, they were spread every 5km, with water, isotonic, and fruits. I found it well organized and had plenty of helpful staff.

Between the km 15 till km 32 I was feeling great and ran my best, even in the crowded streets. Only after km 33, there was more space on the streets but then my legs were getting heavier. I kept running and stop at km 40 to sip some wine from the Marathon du Medoc stall. The last and very needed boost!

My time? 4 hours and 3 minutes. My target was to finish in 4 hours, very happy with the result. After the race I was feeling very well. Ate some fruits and a sandwich, drank Coke and later enjoyed a very cold beer.

Paris Marathon Review: My time 4h 03min!

Paris Marathon Review: Even Batman and Super Man were in the race! It’s a scenic race, Paris is a stunning city. I love the idea of running and sightseeing, even better if you don’t need to worry about the traffic. I tried to keep my pace and enjoy the view at the same time. I did a few stops for pictures and don’t regret, I was there to enjoy it.

The crowd was special, thousands of people cheering: Ale Ale Ale, Bravo!  Also, there were many bands playing music along the course. It really helps to keep you going!

Paris Marathon Review: Pit Stop at La Bastille, photo and a kiss from my lovely wife!
Nat and I planned 4 meeting points, at Chateau de Vincennes on Km 12, at Place de La Bastille between Km 22-23, at Place de Varsovie on Km 29 and at the finish line. Unfortunately, she got stuck on the Metro and we missed each other at Chateau de Vincennes. I managed to do a quick stop to kiss her at Place de La Bastille. She didn’t see me at Place de Varsovie but spot me on the finish line.

Paris Marathon Review Tip:  If your partner or friend wants to take some pictures and cheer for you, plan ahead the meeting points and give some time for the transit between the places. The metro lines are packed during race time.


» Paris Marathon Training Review

That’s a tough point. A lot of people ask about the training schedule for the Paris Marathon. We can not say that there is a single recipe that suits everybody. It all depends on how fit you are, what is your expectations, time available for training, dedication… A lot of factors.

My case was an interesting one. I ran the Ironman Brazil back in 2012. On March 2013 was submitted to a hip surgery and stop running till October of that year. I started my training 7 months before the Paris Marathon. But this time I had an extra challenge, no fixed address and without a “normal” routine.

Since we were traveling around the world I did my training in 7 different countries, a total of 19 different cities. Istanbul, Izmir, Pamukkale, Cappadocia, Chiang Mai, Siem Reap, Bangkok, Boracay, Bohol, Manila, Koh Phi Phi, Phuket, Ao Nang, Koh Tao, Koh Phangan, Langkawi, Bologna, Reggio Emilia and Paris.  

Paris Marathon Review: Training around the world!

One day I was running in Istanbul, raining and 6ºC, on the following day I was in Bangkok running under the sun with the thermometer hitting 35ºC. Another challenge was to find a flat course for the long training, especially in some of the Thai islands like Koh Phi Phi or Koh Tao. The bright side was the amazing landscape I enjoyed during my training. Cappadocia in late October is gorgeous, the beaches of The Philippines, the Bosphorus in Istanbul…. Can’t complain at all. 

In addition to the temperature changes, the main challenge for me was to adapt to different foods, ingredients, and seasonings.  I lost about 8 kgs during my training for the Paris Marathon. Mainly because took me a while to get used to the food in each new country. On average I was training 1 hour per day from Monday to Saturday and between 2-3 hours every Sunday.

Paris Marathon Review Tip:  Start training about 6 months before the race if you already have done one half marathon, or earlier for those who haven’t. ALWAYS train with a coach, don’t follow a spreadsheet just because a friend of a friend told you to do it. A certified coach can evaluate your performance and minimize the risk of injuries. Also, go see your doctor before start training! Roberto Lemos from Ironmind was my coach for this challenge, he is known as “The Master”. Also, I can recommend Lucas Helal from Luquitri Assessoria Esportiva, he does a great job with his online coaching system. Lucas trained me for Ironman Malaysia.


» Paris Marathon Weather Review

In theory, April is already spring. Or at least my concept of spring is sunny days with temperatures ranging from 20º-25ºC. We arrived in Paris at freezing 8ºC. I was freaking out! Usually, the temperature would rise during the day but before 9 am was quite cold.

Paris Marathon Review Weather: It was supposed to be spring time, but it was only 8ºC!

I went to the race wearing my trisuit, legging, a hoodie, a thermal jacket & gloves. I stripped off the jacket & legging minutes before entering the corral.  The jumper and gloves I took off only after 3 hours running. My Brazilian blood and the months training in South East Asia made me a bit sensitive to the cold.

Paris Marathon Review Tip: Arrive a few days before the race to get used to the weather.


» Paris Marathon Equipment Review

I ran the Paris Marathon with my New Balance M890v4 with a pair of anti-blister socks from Nike. The runners lasted me a solid 1 year of intense training for the marathon and the Ironman Langkawi. To track my performance I use the  Garmin Forerunner 310XT. Strongly suggest getting a visor or a cap to protect from the sun. Nike Featherlite visor is a great product. Remember that I mentioned the low temperatures, so consider buying a pair of leggings, Nike and Mizuno are good options. A GoPro Silver 4 was my choice to record some videos and take pictures during the race.


Paris Marathon Verdict

Will I race it again? Absolutely! While writing this Paris Marathon Review I even checked the date of the 2017 edition.

The Paris Marathon is a well-organized and beautiful race. If you have visited Paris before it’s a great opportunity to see the city from a different perspective. If it’s your first time in Paris you will be amazed by the beauty of the city. Make sure to stay at least one week after the race to explore Paris.

Paris Marathon Review: All you need to know about the race course, the training and travel tips! Organize you trip to Paris Marathon and receive your Medal!

I told Natalie that after racing the Paris Marathon, Chiang Mai Marathon and the Ironman Langkawi in Malaysia, I would stop for a while. Well, it’s over a month without training, time to choose a new race and start everything again!


How to get to Paris

That’s easy. Paris is served by 3 airports, 7 train stations & an international bus station. Over 50 airlines fly to Charles de Gaulle Airport, the biggest one in Paris. If you are flying from a destination outside Europe is very likely that you will land here. To get to the city center just hop on the RER train.

Orly Airport is another airport with flights to Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas. This airport is also connected to the city center via the RER train. Beauvais Airport is used mainly by budget airlines such as Ryanair and to European destinations only. To reach the city the easiest way is the shuttle bus.

It does not matter where you flying to, always research several airlines before booking your flights. We really like Skyscanner, they compare several airlines and you can save time & money. 

If you fancy traveling by train, you will find plenty of services connecting all of Europe to Paris. We traveled from Milan (Italy) to Paris by train, but we choose a route via Switzerland to enjoy the Alps landscape. This trip was done using Eurail Pass, absolutely hassle-free! Or for further info check this article on how to travel in Europe by train

Do you run marathons? Planning to run the Paris edition? Did you find our Paris Marathon Review useful? Let’s connect! 


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Paris Marathon Review: all you need to know about the race course, the training and travel tips! Organize you trip to Paris Marathon and cross the finish line!

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