After running the London Marathon in April for the last 8 years, this year
I ran the Paris Marathon instead.
The Paris Marathon is similar in size to the London race. There were 30,815
I finished in 2,449th place in a time of 3:14:34.
I was pleased with the time which was better than I expected.
Firstly, I would like to thank all of my sponsors.
The sponsorship total is over £30,000 which is very impressive.
The weather was ideal for running. Although it was sunny, it was
fairly cool with temperatures up to 13°C.
This is my 'photo diary' of the event. Hopefully, it will give an
indication of what it is like to take part in an event like this.
If you click on the images on this page, a larger image
will appear. Most of the photos were taken by me during the race,
testing the 'anti shake' mode on the camera to the limit.
The atmosphere of the Paris Marathon is quite different to the London
Marathon. The London Marathon has more of a carnival atmosphere with huge
crowds and plenty of runners in fancy dress. The Paris Marathon is more of a
'running race'. I didn't see anyone dressed as Elvis or Superman all day. The
general ability of the runners is higher in Paris with greater numbers
achieving reasonably fast times.
The start is on the Champs Elysees near the Arc de Triomphe.
The race starts at 08:45.
This is about 5 minutes before start time. We are lining up behind the start line.
Looking back at the people behind me at the start.
We're off. Running down the Champs Elysees.
The street is cobbled which isn't ideal for running, but it is 8 lanes wide
which allows for a fairly congestion free get away.
These are the leaders near the start.
This is me, camera in hand, chasing after the leaders but getting further and
After about 3 miles, we go around the roundabout at the Bastille.
At several locations around the course, fire-fighters use their ladders to get
a good view of the race.
Passing a drinks station after about 6 miles. As well as bottles of water,
there is a choice of bananas, oranges, raisins and sugar cubes.
We head into a large park on the east side of Paris - the Bois de
Vicennes. The large mound in the background is the Zoo.
Passing the Chateau de Vicennes. Looking back at the people chasing after me.
An African band play for the runners. The blue line on the road indicates the
marathon route. It is mainly for the leaders who don't have anyone to
follow. The line is removed after the race.
The runners in black and red are taking turns pushing a person in a
wheelchair. The wheelchairs set off before the main start. This is something
which doesn't occur in the London Marathon - only self powered wheelchairs are
We are at half way already. It's good to see a British flag. Of the 40,000
runners who entered the race, about 5,000 are British.
Passing a blind (Non-Voyant) runner with his guide.
We have covered about 15 miles and are running east to west along the River
Seine. The Eiffel Tower is visible on the skyline.
Entering the first of several tunnels along the bank of the Seine.
Running through the tunnel.
The Eiffel Tower is getting closer.
After about 18 miles, we pass the Eiffel Tower which is on the opposite bank
of the river.
Of course, the French measure the marathon distance in km rather than
miles. So, 26.2 miles becomes 42.2 km. Every 5km, there is a timing point
which clocks the time of each passing runner. This is useful for runners who
want to check their pace around the course and also for the organisers who can
identify runners who don't complete the whole course on foot.
For the last 6 miles we snake around the Bois de Boulogne. This is the
location of the Roland Garros tennis arena and Longchamp Racecourse. The top
of the stands of the racecourse are visible in the background.
About 3 miles to go now.
Not far now. The Arc de Triomphe is visible in the distance.
Nearly there. Approaching the official photographers with the finish banner
(arrivee) is visible above the road behind them
Passing under the finish banner.
Beyond the finish line. Everyone looks pretty tired.
There is a T-shirt for all finishers.
There is a medal for all finishers.
A few minutes later with my T-shirt and medal.
I was raising money
for St Andrew's Hospice in Grimsby (registered charity no.1011117).
St Andrew's Hospice
exists to care for patients (both adults and children) living in Lincolnshire
who have a life threatening illness. It also provides support and friendship
to those who care for them. The Hospice is funded mainly by charitable
The Hospice Web Site
information about St Andrew's Hospice