If you’re ever across in Paris to do the marathon or just to cheer on others then sign up for the Breakfast Run! To me, this is the best 5k event you’ll ever run. It’s seldom I say things like that and let me tell you why.

This is an event where speed is not important and time/pace etc isn’t even measured. This event is about bringing people together from all around the world, a celebration of running. We spend our training runs measuring the distance we run, the times we run and focus on our individual performance. This event is different, it’s about being part of a global community where everyone fast and slow run together and stop to take photos with each other. This is about running with friends, the friends you have come with and the friends you are now making. This is about being part of something bigger than yourself, being part of around 3000 happy people having fun.

Before the start of the Breakfast Run

It’s billed as 5k but it’s not timed, isn’t really 5k and, to be honest, no-one cares. It costs €12 to take part, you get a t-shirt and breakfast at the finish. The first you realise the power of this event is when you step out from the Metro at Palais Royale to a sea of people all wearing the same top as you. The magic of the event for me is that they encourage everyone to wear the colours of their country and hand out little flags of the countries at the Salon du Running when you register. I’ve always worn my kilt, which always draws attention and it’s nice to then be asked to be in photos with runners from every corner of the world.

There’s a truck with music playing and a sea of big flags just behind and this is when the run starts. It’s more of a slow jog as we make our way round to the Place du Carousel where the famous pyramid is so we stopped there for a photo even though we’d only run a few hundred metres. We’d met up with Stefan, a German runner we’d met at the after-party at last year’s marathon and started running with him but lost him at this point. We continued, crossing Pont Royal and onto a path along the banks of the Seine, passing Museé d’Orsay along the way. It was a great spectacle to see a sea of flags from all the different nations being represented and blue t-shirts. The Brazilians and Argentinians were fairly noisy as were the Australians every time we went under a bridge!

The run is impossible to go fast in, partly because of the crowds and also down to the fact that they have a bank of runners stretched right across the street so that no-one can get past. It wasn’t long before we got into familiar territory – within view of the Eiffel Tower where the finish is. They had changed the route for this run as it used to start at the finish line of the marathon, weaved its way around the Trocadero and the stunning photo opportunity crossing George V bridge in front of the tower but whether the change was down to security or not, it was nicer to run along by the Seine. Apparently Tom Cruise was filming scenes for Mission Impossible so maybe we’ll be in it?

A sea of runners of all nationalities

The last bit of the route took us round to the finish, where everyone almost feels reluctant to cross the line! Once across the line, it was great to meet up with Tina Chantrey from She Who Dares Runs, who had been looking out for Allison. We then joined the queue to get breakfast, which consisted of a croissant, pain au chocolat, banana, coffee and a bottle of water. This has been a bit of a bun fight in the past but was very well organised and a much smoother process. We went into the Champs de Mars to eat breakfast, take some photos, be in some photos with other runners then walked across to meet up with Simon, Paula and their friends from Dundee who we shared our flight with the day before.

Runners taking photos during the run
After the run

For what is a very slow 2.5 mile run, the Breakfast Run will leave you with just as many happy memories as the marathon will and will make you fall in love with running all over again.

Next Up – The Marathon


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