I love this time of year in New England. Not only does the weather improve and the city become more floral, but we also anticipate the Boston Marathon. As a runner myself (though not a marathoner yet), I'm thrilled by the energy as people from all over the world converge on Boston. When I see someone running, I wonder for what cause or in honor of whom they're running. And I always get too emotional about this sport, loving to hear or read all the stories behind the runners.

Since you may already know about the Boston Marathon's history, today I'll share some information about another cherished race happening on April 7: le Marathon de Paris.

The first Paris Marathon took place on July 19, 1896, attracting 191 participants at the time. Over the years, the Paris Marathon grew in popularity, with 20,024 registrations received this year for comparison.

Its scenic route through the historic streets of Paris, passing iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, the Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Louvre Museum, contributes to its appeal among runners worldwide. The race starts at the Arc de Triomphe and goes to Place de La Concorde, then passes by the Opéra Garnier and Place de la Bastille. Spotting Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower means approaching the finish line, while the greenery of Bois de Boulogne indicates only a few hundred meters to go.

Unlike Boston, where runners must qualify, in Paris, all you need to do is register. Another difference is that it's easier to finish the Paris Marathon compared to the Boston one. Paris ranks second in the world for the highest number of finishers, after the New York City Marathon.

Some stats for the 2024 race:

- 46% of runners are first-time marathoners.
- The average age of runners is 38 years old.
- 31% are foreigners.
- There are 72% of men runners.
- Most runners (55%) finish in 3h30 to 4h30.

Do you know anyone running the Paris Marathon? Are you participating? Or are you focused on the Boston Marathon? Let us know in the comments. We'll be rooting for you!

Bruna Franco

Marketing & Membership Manager

Bruna first joined the Center as a member, looking for an opportunity to practice French and to be around French culture. She is now thrilled to be the Membership Manager and to provide members with the amazing experience she was previously able to enjoy herself. She is a native Portuguese speaker who, by the age of eight, knew she wanted to be multilingual someday. Working at the French Library now seems like a dream come true.

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