With just over three months until the inaugural Disneyland Paris half marathon, we are in planning mode to make sure everything is in place before we leave the US. Hotels are booked and airplane tickets have been purchased, but our day to day plans need to be put in place so we don't waste any time once we arrive at Charles de Gaulle Airport.
Here are some of the items you will need to consider if you are traveling for these races. After purchasing your airplane tickets, make sure to book some kind of transfer to the DL Paris location if you are staying at a property adjacent to the parks. While the location is considered Paris, it is actually in Marne-la-Vallee and you need to either study the train maps and brush up on your French, or plan to have a driver take you to the location. There is also a magical express option if you are staying onsite.
Speaking of brushing up on your French, our prior trips to Paris were much more pleasant and the locals much friendlier if you made even the smallest attempt to speak their language. For Christine, this is a breeze, but my junior high and high school French are rusty at best. It will be fun having her chat with the locals while I wait to be directed where to go! While this trip is planned for the purpose of running the 5k and the half marathon, we also intend to spend a day in the City of Lights soaking up the atmosphere and visiting some of our favorite places.
In case you are wondering, our day long visit will include a visit to either the Louvre Museum or the Musee d'Orsay followed by lunch with baguettes and cheese. Afterwards, a stroll down the Champs Elysee and a stop at the famous Laduree for macaroons and possibly champagne will round out our food choices. One of my favorite things is climbing the Arch de Triomphe in the evening so you can enjoy the gorgeous views of the city and especially the Eiffel Tower with it's twinkly lights. I'm not sure if we will stay long enough for this treat, but you have some extra time in the evening consider this option.
One of the most interesting aspects of running races in Europe is the speed of the runners. We both encountered a speedy group of half marathon runners when we participated in the Dublin Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon back in 2014. And when I ran the London Marathon in April of this year, I placed far lower than I have at other big marathons despite a time that was pretty close to others. We anticipate being in a middle corral and look forward to a fun race versus trying for a PR. And since Europeans taking their racing seriously, we plan to leave the race costumes at home!
Last in our preparations will be a bank visit to purchase a few Euros for incidentals, oh and of course running. Lots of running so we can enjoy our races and the parks afterwards! Do you have any good tips for an overseas race?