Well, who would not want to run in Paris?
I visited Paris last year around the same time. My schedule was so full that I could not get a run in and I had to make do with the gym. Which wasn’t bad, but who wants to run indoors in Paris? Not me.
So this time around I was determined to make time. My hotel was close to Porte Maillot station and that is where I started. The large Bois de Boulogne park is right across from the station, but a lot of construction obscured the entrance and as it was still dark, it didn’t look too appealing. So I decided to stay safe and run the streets.
The alternative was to run down the Avenue de la Grande Armée to the Arc de Triomphe and then onto Avenue des Champs-Elysées. It was early morning but there was already a lot of traffic. The first part of the run is a street lined with old apartment buildings, offices and small shops, mostly selling cars and motors. Once you get to the Arc de Triomphe, which sits in the middle of a huge roundabout with multiple side streets, you can take the stairs down. This will lead you past the entrance of the Arc and then you’ll come up on the other side at the Champs-Elysées, the world-famous shopping street. This early in the morning is really the only time you can look at the shops unobstructed: during the day it’s far too crowded.
The run from Porte Maillot is down hill, so be prepared to run up hill going back: save some energy! I greeted the usual early morning crowd: street sweepers, beggars, fellow runners, people picking up the trash and a few early birds walking to work. Most seem to prefer their cars. And another Paris thing: lots of outdoor smokers. On the way back I stopped at a wonderful bakery (La Boulangerie Marius), where I got my morning treat: best croissant ever. Warm, flaky, fresh from the oven!
Later that week I had the evening off and I walked to the Palais du Louvre. Had I known that the Tuileries in front of the Louvre is a favourite night time exercise spot I would have brought my gear. Lots of people meet there to get fit together: exercising, running, doing yoga and hit. It was great to see and a pity I couldn’t participate. So take my advice: if you’re in the neighbourhood go run around the Palais du Louvre at night and meet lots of running friends!
Even though this was just up and down the street, below is my run. Happy running!