The Paris International Marathon is an annual marathon which starts at the Champs-Élysées heading towards the Place de la Concorde and continuing through the city to finish at Foch Avenue. Along with the Berlin Marathon and the London Marathon, it is one of the most popular long-distance annual running events in Europe.
The race starts on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, going downhill to circle round the Place de la Concorde before turning right onto Rue de Rivoli. The route passes the Louvre, then goes round the Place de la Bastille, and down Boulevard Soult to the Bois de Vincennes. A long loop of the Bois de Vincennes returns the route into the heart of Paris. The halfway point is reached at Rue de Charenton. The route now follows the course of the Seine, passing Île de la Cité and going under the Pont Neuf, then a series of tunnels. There is a large drinks station and foot massage at Trocadéro, opposite the Eiffel Tower. The route continues along the Seine, before branching off east to eventually pass though Bois de Boulogne, emerging for the final 200 metres and the finish on Avenue Foch.
The present Paris Marathon dates from 1976 and is organised by the Amaury Sport Organisation. It is normally held on a Sunday in April and is limited to 37,000 runners. It is notable for the attractive route through the heart of the city of Paris, and for the food and drinks stations which include wine, beer, cider and oysters. Unlike most other marathons, but like all races in France, the Paris Marathon requires a doctor’s note affirming the runner is physically fit to run a marathon.