I appreciate that when one travels to Paris, running should not get in the way of stops to the Musee Rodin, the Pantheon, the Louvre Palace, the Notre Dame de Paris and of course, the cafes, the markets, the castles … too much to see in such a short time. But as Americans, when we travel, we must do and see so much that the exhaustion we felt before we left for a “relaxing vacation” pales in comparison to the physical wasteland we experience by the final “vacation day.”
So as we prepare for spring break and a lovehomeswap experience with an endearing French family from St. Germaine, I find myself in Paris during the 21st running of the Semi-Marathon de Paris where 40,000 runners will line the streets on March 3. Now, given the fact that the race closed in December and I just stumbled onto it this month, I was dejected when learning that there is no legitimate way for me to enter. While I appreciate the importance of not pirating or scalping a race number, or like any competition, the scalping itself becomes a sport. It seems like associations or institutions can offer loopholes for serious runners.
With that said, here I am crossing the Atlantic, arriving the day before the start and like any large racing field, there are plenty of runners with good intentions who are sick, injured or simply conflicted by something that’s more important to them than running. Sad, but it’s true.
Thankfully, there are a great many entrepreneurs who have created social communities that enable us to connect, find and request pretty much anything. While my first attempt to secure a number, which started on Facebook, moved to a Skype conference call and ultimately didn’t pan out, several later attempts resulted in securing a race number. While a communication from the race organizers discouraged me from such an effort, I feel that while I’m in France, I must do as the French do and run the Semi-Marathon de Paris, from the Bois De Vincennes up to Rue de Rivoli, down along the Seine River and back in 13.1 miles of history and culture at a comfortable under seven minute mile pace.
Hopefully, as I cross the finish line, I will not be forced to continue running … from the Police Nationale or “Surete.”