Paris Marathon

Paris Marathon

The Paris Marathon is an annual marathon which takes place from 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 first Paris Marathon took place in 1896. A big crowd gathered to watch 191 participants. It was run over the 40 km separating Paris from Conflans and the organisers decided to award a commemorative medal to all runners who finished the race in under 4 hours.

The distance of 40km was chosen as it was the distance separating Marathon from Athens. The current distance of the race is 42.195 km - the standard Olympic Marathon length.

This first race was won by Len Hurst from England who crossed the finishing line in 2 hours, 31 minutes and 30 seconds. His prize money was 200 francs.

Modern Paris Marathon

The present Paris Marathon dates from 1976. It is normally held on a Sunday in April and is limited to 37,000 runners. It is organised by the Amaury Sport Organisation. 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. It is also known for lack of crowd support, especially through the final miles around the Bois de Boulogne.

The 2006 race was the 30th anniversary, and was marked with special souvenirs for the runners. The organisers, however, were embarrassed by the theft of finishing medals by members of the public pretending to be runners. Approximately 2,000 new medals had to be minted and posted out to runners who did not receive a medal on the day.

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.

The route

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 the Avenue Foch.


Date Winner Men Country Time Winner Women Country Time
2008 Tsegay Kebede 2h 06mn 40s Martha Komu 2h 25mn 33s
2007 Shami Mubarak 2h 07mn 17s Magarsa Assale 2h 25mn 08s
2006 Gashaw Asfaw 2h 08mn 03s Irina Timofeyeva 2h 27mn 19s
2005 Salim Kipsang 2h 08mn 02s Lidiya Grigoryeva 2h 27mn 00s
2004 Ambesse Tolosa 2h 08mn 56s Salina Kosgei 2h 24mn 32s
2003 Michael Kosgei Rotich 2h 06mn 33s Beatrice Omwanza 2h 27mn 41s
2002 Benoît Zwierzchiewski 2h 08mn 18s Marleen Renders 2h 23mn 05s
2001 Simon Biwott 2h 09mn 40s Florence Barsosio 2h 27mn 53s
2000 Mohamed Ouaadi 2h 08mn 49s Marleen Renders 2h 23mn 43s
1999 Julius Rutto 2h 08mn 10s Cristina Costea 2h 26mn 11s
1998 Jackson Kabiga 2h 09mn 37s Nicole Caroll 2h 27mn 06s
1997 John Kemboi 2h 10mn 14s Yelena Razdrogina 2h 29mn 10s
1996 Henrique Crisostomo 2h 12mn 18s Alina Tecuta 2h 29mn 32s
1995 Domingos Castro 2h 10mn 06s Judit Nagy 2h 31mn 43s
1994 Saïd Ermili 2h 10mn 56s Mari Tanigawa 2h 27mn 55s
1993 Leszek Beblo 2h 10mn 46s Mitsuyo Yoshida 2h 29mn 16s
1992 Luis Soares 2h 10mn 03s Tatyana Titova 2h 31mn 12s
1991 Not held
1990 Steve Brace 2h 13mn 10s Yoshiko Yamamoto 2h 35mn 11s
1989 Steve Brace 2h 13mn 03s Kazue Kojima 2h 29mn 23s
1988 Manuel Matias 2h 13mn 53s Aurora Cunha 2h 34mn 56s
1987 Abebe Mekonnen 2h 11mn 09s Elena Cobos 2h 34mn 47s
1986 Ahmed Salah 2h 12mn 44s Maria Rebelo-Lelut 2h 32mn 16s
1985 Jacky Boxberger 2h 10mn 49s Maureen Hurst 2h 43mn 31s
1984 Ahmed Salah 2h 11mn 58s Sylviane Levesque 2h 38mn 20s
1984 Course féminine supplémentaire Lorraine Moller 2h 32mn 44s
1983 Jacky Boxberger 2h 12mn 38s Jacqueline Courtade 2h 58mn 14s
1982 Ian Thompson 2h 14mn 07s Anne Marie Cienka 2h 56mn 14s
1981 Dave Cannon
Ron Tabb (ex-æquo)

2h 11mn 44s Chantal Langlacé 2h 48mn 24s
1980 Sylvain Cacciatore 2h 25mn 50s Gillian Adams 2h 49mn 42s
1979 Fernand Kolbeck Vreni Forster
1978 Gilbert Coutant 2h 34mn 55s
1977 Gérard Métayer 2h 30mn 41s
1976 Jean-Pierre Eudier 2h 20mn 57s
1896 Len Hurst 2h 31mn 30s


The race was run on April 06, 2008. The top male finisher, Ethiopian Tsegaye Kebede, just missed the course record with a time of 2h06’40. The top female finisher was Kenya’s Martha Komu finishing in a time of 2h25’33. Her partner, Frenchman Simon Munyutu, qualified for this year's Olympics with a time of 2h09’24. The handisport race was won was by Mexico’s Saul Mendoza in a time of 1h32’27 over France’s Denis Lemeunier and Heinz Frei of Switzerland. 29,706 competitors started the race


The race was run on April 15, 2007. The top male finisher was Shami Mubarak from Qatar in a time of 2:07:19 narrowly beating frenchman Paul Astin. The top female finisher was Tafa Magarsa from Ethiopia in a time of 2:25:08. Handisport race was won by Kurt Fearnley in 1:30:45.A runner who also ran in London's British 10K that year. 28,261 competitors started the race.


The race was run on April 9, 2006. The top male finisher was Gashaw Melese from Ethiopia in a time of 2:08:03. The top female finisher was Irina Timofeyeva from Russia in a time of 2:27:02.She also ran later in the British 10K. South African Ernst Van Dyck won the Handisport race in 1:33:58.


The 29th Paris Marathon was run on 10 April, 2005. The top male finisher was Kenyan runner Salim Kipsang with a time of 2h08'02, followed in by fellow Kenyan Paul Biwott 13 seconds later. The top female finisher was Lydiya Grigoryeva in 2h27'00. Ernst Van Dyck won the Handisport race in a time of 1h23’17.


The top male finisher was newcomer Ethiopian Ambesse Tolossa in a time of 2:08:56. This was the Ethiopian's 9th ever marathon and he beat the race favourite - Kenya's Raymond Kipkoech who came in at 2:10:08. The fastest female was Kenyan runner Salina Kosgei (also a newcomer on the event) in 2:24:32, ahead of Ethopian Asha Gigi and France's Corrine Raux. Switzerland's Heinz Frei won the wheelchair event in 1h37'43. 30,430 competitors started the race.


The top male finisher was Kenyan Mike Rotich with a time of 2:06:33, setting a new record for this event. Coming in second, France's Benoît Zwierzchiewski equalled the existing European record, at 2:06:33. The fastest female was Kenyan runner Béatrice Omwanza in 2:27:41, ahead of Italy's Rosaria Console.

France's Joel Jeannot won the wheelchair event.

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