Hints and Tips for Running and Biking in Paris

Hints and Tips for Running and Biking in Paris (and an impassioned plea at the end)

It’s no coincidence that “endorphin,” the chemical produced by the brain during intensive, repetitive exercise like running, biking, rowing and swimming, seems to rhyme with “morphine” (an opiate pain reliever).  It is morphine, its name being a contraction of “endogenous” (i.e., manufactured “within,” or by, the body [en = “in” in French, for example]) and “morphine”--or other “-ine” drugs, such as codeine, etc. Endorphins are natural pain relivers, which is why we get a “runner’s or biker’s high.” This would be the case even if we were pounding the pavement or pushing the pedals in Lost Springs, Wyoming (as of the 2010 census, population: 4). Or Charleroi, Belgium (according to the BBC, the ugliest city in the world).

BUT WE ARE RUNNING AND BIKING IN PARIS! Need we say more?

Yes, we need. In order to keep safe and happy while all that home-grown dope…

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It’s Paris Marathon Time Again

It's Paris Marathon Time Again and so we asked marathoner and writer Shari Leslie Segall (who has run and completed 30 marathons, including 23 in Paris) how and why she (and nearly 59,999 others) continues to run the Paris Marathon year after year. She responded:

If you are lucky enough to be able to watch from the sidelines (or impatient enough to imperatively need to back your car right then and there out into the flowing phalanx of folks asking for only one six-hour [out of the other 8,754] period of traffic-free footspace per year, or hungry enough to absolutely have to try to find a micro-hole in said phalanx through which to scamper--guilty smirk on your face--across the street to the bakery), you will probably notice that although these thousands of intrepid souls chasing a 42.195-kilometer/26.2-mile goal might appear to lack some sanity, what they certainly do not lack is motivation. While we know that it’s career-extending glory and often considerable pri…

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Another Paris Marathon

Another Paris Marathon Paris, France Marathon season is upon us, and that means celebrating marathon runners: elite runners and their 20-kilometer (12.43-mile)-per-hour walks in the park, beginner runners and their good fortune at not knowing what they’ve gotten themselves into, self-motivating runners and all their inventive techniques for keeping the rubber on the macadam, crying runners (“I DID IT!!”), laughing runners (“Hah! And you said I couldn’t!”). But where would these marathon runners be without the vast support afforded them along their 42.195-km (26.2-mile) slog? Here are just a few categories of helpers who make this great, frustrating, challenging, daunting, exhilarating, fun, terrifying, gratifying achievement possible (and one category of decidedly non--helpers, in spite of whom we get home anywayread on). The Volunteers: At major marathons (like Paris, with 57,000 runners), there are 3,000+ volunteers, awake at pre-pre-dawn on race day, spread over the le…
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Clubs Associations Churches of Expat Paris

Clubs Associations Churches of Expat Paris Joining the social fabric in your new home is part of settling in. Of course you want to integrate into France and meet French people, but it is always pleasant, and some would say important, to join fellow expats or folks from your own country to pursue your favorite activities as well. Just like sometimes you need comfort food you also need comfort time in your own language, activities and customs. Churches and synagogues in Paris are great resources providing community, study and discussions, lunches, youth groups, fairs, choirs and volunteer opportunities just like at home. Many schools and universities have alumni clubs in Paris. Here below is a non-exhaustive list of clubs associations of all types as well as churches of the expat community in the Paris area. Index :  British Scottish Welsh Norwegian Finnish Swedish Polish Danish German Irish Canadian Australian American Worship in your own language  British : Association Fra…
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Bicycle visibility – Darkness is coming

Darkness is coming - Bicycle visibility (for joggers too)! When daylight savings time ends and you have daylight from only 8 am to 4 pm there's a lot of bike riding to be done in the dark. How can you put the odds of being seen on your side? Bicycle visibility! Some things are pretty obvious: florescent shirt, reflective vest, headlights and tail lights. That's the minimum. But you can do more and with more panache too! I ride with multiple forms of light and reflectors and for that matter I use all of my visibility techniques during broad daylight too. You can never be too visible. http://www.saintgermainenlaye.eu/en/pages-speciales/detail-decouvrir0/article/security-of-cyclists-well-seen-well-protected/ Consider the following: Fashion? Yes you can! Ugly yellow construction vets? OUT! OUT! OUT! Put on something with style like a well-fitted multicolored vest from Rayon Jaune.

Who is Rayon Jaune? Béatrice: Ingénieuse ès produit. Béatrice worked in confecti…

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Paris Marathon

Curse you, Edward VII! Legend has it that 2505 years ago (490 BCE) the Greek soldier Phidippides ran to Athens from Marathon to announce victory in the eponymous battle over the Persians. The approximately 25-mile mission (the exact distance depends on which route he chose) took its toll on the messenger: he dropped dead after delivering his news. (There’s a t-shirt floating around runner trade-shows that says, “Phidippides had the right idea!”) When the modern Olympic Games created the “marathon” race in 1896, in a nod to ancient grandeur and the hope of future reverence, it set the distance at a rounded 40,000 meters-the equivalent of 24.85 miles. From that point on, things get murky. While we know for sure that the 1908 London Olympic Marathon was set at 26.2 miles, the reason for this seems to have been lost in the city’s legendary fog. Some say the royal family demanded that the runners not finish at White City Stadium as programmed, but pound the extra pavement it woul…
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Sports in France

Hints for Newcomers – Hindsights for Old-Timers: Sports in France by Shari Leslie Segall When your spouse was offered a high-paid, top-executive position in Paris, did you declare, “We’ll move to the most beautiful city in the world only if I can find a step-aerobics class catering to my age group and ability level”? Have you said to yourself, “Now that I have played tennis in the Bois de Boulogne, skied in Grenoble and run the Marathon de Nantes, what could possibly be left for me to do?” Does your overpowering attraction to moelleux au chocolat crash full-force into your seeming inability to chase its pernicious effects from your thighs? If the answer to any of these is a resounding “YES!” you have come to the right article. France is often criticized by Anglos for not having the kinds of school/university-based athletic programs common in their native countries. “The battle of Waterloo,” the Duke of Wellington is (apocryphally) noted as having said, “was won on the playing…
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Paris Marathon

The Schneider Electric Paris Marathon is the 39th edition in 2015. You can participate as a runner of course if you sign up a year in advance, as a volunteer or just turn out to cheer the runners on. This year the race takes place Sunday, April 12th. The Schneider Electric Paris Marathon is now one of the biggest marathons in the world, as much for the size of its field as the performances of its runners. Nearly 140 nationalities and 54,000 runners come to tackle this race across Paris, taking in the Champs Elysées, the Bois de Vincennes and Boulogne, with spectacular views and landmarks all along the route. There are now more than 16,000 runners from abroad, making up 35% of the field. Each finisher comes home with incredible memories. Here are long-time Paris resident Shari Leslie Segall's reflections on last year's race.

Paris Marathon: The Debriefing April 7, 2014

Another one down. Another notch on the agle…

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