Trail Running in and around Paris
Last year I moved to Paris with my family to pursue a different career direction... but that's not the point of this post.
I quickly discovered the trail running scene is huge in France. One can run a trail race or a trail ultra almost every weekend within 1-3 hours of Paris. Here is a link to a great site that lists all the races around Paris.
I had the privilege of doing two trail races this year:
http://traildeparis.com - EcoTrail de Paris - I did the 30KM trail race with 500M of climbing. The race starts in the Meudon forest on the south west side of Paris and winds it way across the forest with intense climbing and descending through beautiful trails while crossing amazing chateaus and gardens for the first 20km. The last 10km is a straight line along the Seine ending at the base of the Eiffel Tower. I had a great time and truly enjoyed the spirit of the race. If you entered the 80KM version of the race the finish line was on the first level of the Eiffel tower... imagine needing to climb that many stairs after running 80km!
In February I did a shorter 15km trail race in a forest north of Paris called Forêt de Montmorency... a race called the MaxiCross. Despite it being a shorter race it took a long time... lots of climbing and it was calf deep in mud for half the race. Here is a link to the web site:
Here is a video of the race: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hT2B8n9X6uY&feature=youtu.be
Again, the race was fun, lots of great people.
Also, entry fees are reasonable... but don't expect medals or t-shirts. The race entry fee for the February race was only 12Euros and there were no aid stations except free juice, muffins and coffee at the end.
The trail race that ended in Paris did offer a Finisher's technical t-shirt.... but no aid stations at all along the 30km route.
What also impressed me about these races are the number of entrants. I thought I would see 200 people at the start of the MaxiCross but there were over 1000 people. The EcoTrail 30k race had to cap the entrants to 3200 and we started in waves.
I hope you all enjoy this little post and if you can... get to Paris next year for the EcoTrail. To me it is one of the Bucket List trail races. I want to do it again next year but may sign up for the 50km race instead.
Oh, and the French are freaking fast! The winner of the 30KM race did it in about 2 hours.. compared to my slow 3h08m.
Here is the outline of the EcoTrail Race and the profile: