Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Running in Ile de France

I spent 4 days in Paris, working from our Gentilly office last Thursday and meeting with the family over the weekend. Despite a busy schedule (what a tiring vacation overall!), I was able to squeeze three runs in the area.

1. Paris-Dourdan marathon

On Friday we were invited for lunch at my godfather's in the countryside in the South of Paris, at St-Cyr-sur-Dourdan. I did a quick check on Google on Thursday night to find out that it was just over 26 miles (42 kilometers), or a marathon and decided to make it another long run, with the possibility to take a shower upon getting there.

I'm happy to have done it, but it is not really nice to run on the hyper busy N20 (Nationale 20) in particular, a sort of highway with trucks and fast cars.

Overall, I visited quite a few cities and villages on the way. Here is the list: Paris (14th district), Gentilly, Arcueil, Cachan, Bourg-la-Reine, Sceaux, Antony, Massy, Longjumeau, Ballainvilliers, La Ville-du-Bois, Longpont-sur-Orge, Montlhéry, Linas, Arpajon, Ollainville, Bruyères-le-Chatel, L'Etoile, Saint-Maurice-Montcouronne, Le Marais, Le Val-Saint-Germain, Saint-Cyr-sous-Dourdan (Levimpont). Phew!

2. Tour de Paris for the finish of the Tour de France

My second run in Ile de France was entirely in Paris (intra muros as we say), last Sunday, that is the same day as the final stage of the Tour de France on the Champs Elysées. A cycling fan would have camped in the morning to get a good spot on the final loop that the athletes cover 8 times, but you know from this blog that this is not my passion. Instead, I joined 4 of my siblings, 4 of my nephews and my parents for a very nice family reunion and lunch at the brasserie La Terasse du 7e on Place de l'Ecole Militaire (I highly recommend eating there, and make sure to ask for a table upstairs for the view and quieter atmosphere).

You will hear more about it mid-August, Max is preparing for his first official marathon with me on August 15 in Tahoe. Max and I left the restaurant just after lunch which, unfortunately, was not ideal for the digestion... After 3 miles, Max had to stop and decided to come back to my parents by metro. I kept going around hoping to find a spot to see the Peleton, but was barely able catch a few unidentified cyclists holding my camera up in the air behind a pack of spectators.

I continued my run along the Seine passing the Orsay Museum, the Louvre, Notre-Dame, the Museum of Natural History and the many bridges over the Seine.
After showing the boys the school where I did my Masters in Sophia Antipolis, then Agnès' Business school in Reims, I stopped by my Engineering school on Boulevard de l'Hôpital (l'Ecole Nationale Supérieure d'Arts et Métiers, recently renamed Arts et Métiers ParisTech) before getting back to my parents near Parc Montsouris after about 11 miles.

From a "Running in Europe" recommendation (see the tag of this blog), it is worth noting that part of the river Seine banks are closed to traffic on Sunday, therefore a great place to run.
I did capture a few pictures of my run through the French capital, for yet another virtual visit for those following this blog (hello Mom, Ann and Sylvie!).

3. La Coulée Verte

In better conditions for Max, that is not right after lunch but before breakfast, we went for a run together again this Monday morning on the Coulée Verte, a 13-mile path in the South of Paris, a very nice itinerary which I covered in a blog post 3 years ago: Running in Paris (2): La Coulée Verte (South). This is actually my best and most recommended place to run if you stay in Paris and are up for a long run, and Max was really eager to see what it looked like. He was not disappointed and really enjoying this morning run, so much that we ended covering a... half-marathon in 1 hour and 45 minutes. He knows he can cover the distance, and faster!
Note that we did an incursion into Malakoff to see our former house there, the place in which we were living when we emigrated to the US. Max was thrilled to see the elementary school he attended then, and the familiar neighborhood.

That's it for this weekend in Ile de France. Now back for another stop in the Alps (Annecy) before flying back to the Bay Area!

1 comment:

runstephane said...

Hi Jean,

Great runs. Pour ton prochain Paris-Dourdan, tu peux essayer ça :

Ça rallonge un peu mais c'est beaucoup, beaucoup plus safe.

See ya guy