Run your city // In Paris with Justine Martel

- Photos by Justine Martel
Run your city // In Paris with Justine Martel
What brought you to this city?
I had the opportunity to study abroad as part of my bachelor's degree in architecture, and I chose Paris for its history, its architecture, the fashion and the general atmosphere of the city. Before I left, I also researched the running culture in the city, including running clubs, shops like the Faux Mouvement and special events. It intrigued me and interested me a lot to be part of that!
Briefly tell me about your trip.
I spent 5 months in Paris to study and enjoy the energy of the city, which allowed me to broaden my social, cultural and professional horizons. I ran a lot through my studies and my tourist activities. It was a good time for me to reflect on everything I had experienced in my day and see the city from a new perspective.
Alone in a foreign city, I sought out people who shared my interests, and found incredible opportunities, such as joining a running group through a local store. These meetings led me to participate in many running events like launches and themed races, which allowed me to make good friends.
Along the trip, I also had the chance to meet and visit the Satisfy Running studios. I got invited to Fashion Week thanks to the connections I made in a race outing with them. Let's say that having taken my courage in both hands was in my best decisions of my trip.
What is your favorite route? 
My ideal outing was run along the Seine on Sunday. It's a very popular place for runners, and the atmosphere is incredibly motivating. The course is flat, so easy to do a long or fast outing. Each bridge passed is magnificent in its own way, above and below. I particularly liked to finish my race in a café with a typical French croissant;)
Is it a good city for running?
Absolutely ! There are so many runners in the city, it's very motivating and inspiring. Paris has an oval shape, with a radius of about 10 km, which makes it easy to go out to discover the city. It is possible to visit several historical monuments by doing a simple 5 km outing. And even if the city is rather flat, it is possible to find routes with elevation, such as in the Buttes Chaumont or Montmartre. There are also places to run in nature near the city center or simply in the many parks of the city.

Whatever the time of day or night, you will undoubtedly come across runners on your way!
What makes you run?
Running for me is several things. First, it's my time to get some fresh air, sunshine and get active. Then it's a way to connect with others. I run for the social aspect: joining in getting some fresh air and seeing my friends. Running with people creates special bonds, based on physical exertion and motivation. 
It's also a way for me to connect with myself, to feel alive and to see things from a new perspective. Running allows me to discover my inner strength, to go beyond my limits and to become a better version of myself: physically and mentally. It reminds me that I am alive with every stride.