Week 41 – Running the Royal Race in Versailles (Course Royale 2017)

After I started running this Summer I also decided to regularly defy myself by registering to real races with friends: first to do something healthy while spending some quality time with loved ones while doing an original activity.

I had been looking at all the races going on around Paris and I found a not very famous one which was perfect for what I was looking for: a 10km small race in the Versailles Gardens (which I have never visited) which also happened to be fairly cheap (8€ per person). I registered immediately and decided to look for companions afterwords.

Itinerary & landscapes

Although I initially thought that in the worst case I could go to the race by myself to enjoy an early morning with my thoughts, I soon discovered that I needed a car to go there. I finally convinced my male best friend (and his car) to come with me to enjoy a marvellous Morning together!

We arrived at 8:30 AM in Fontenay-le-Fleury, the village situated 6km from the start line and where the base camp was. Because it was a small race organised by the locals, there where only 400 contestants registered and everybody was welcomed to have breakfast and coffee before the race! Being reunited in a warm gymnasium before the race in one of the first cold mornings of November was more than welcomed!

After some comfort, the effort, and after a 15min journey by bus, we were left next to the famous lake where the race was about to start, to finish 10km later and the exact point where we took the bus!

Itinéraire course royale 10km

I had actually been picnicking by this very lake once before this Summer, the weather conditions were very different then (20°C different in fact) and I remember wanting to visit the Versailles Gardens but the good weather had attracted too many tourists for me to even try getting in.

20171105_093006.jpg20171105_093608.jpg20171105_093343.jpgphoto 4 course royalephoto 3 course royale20171105_102959.jpgOn the very cold Morning on the 5th of November we finally started the race at 10AM, motivated and happy to warm up! One hour and five minutes later we both reached the finish line, happy of this bucolic experience and in my case proud to have run such distance for the first time.


So I am not the fastest runner yet but considering I started running last Summer I accept my ranking.

Classement course royale 2017

  • General ranking: 305 over 374 runners (worst time 1h33)
  • Women ranking: 92 over 148 women (worst time 1h29)

I really appreciated the itinerary and the efficient organisation of this small and unpretentious race, the first and only other I did gathered 28 419 runners and I remember waiting in the cold for 2 hours because of the delay (see Week 34 – I ran La Parisienne). In the future I decided to avoid big publicized (and expensive) events and register for smaller lay-back races instead! Hence I will certainly run La Course Royale next year too, and hopefully bring more friends with me! The objective also being to run it in less than an hour this time!

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