For the first Paris Portrait of 2017, we are happy to feature a Samantha!
Some people come to Paris to eat their way through the city, shop, or explore the artistic side of the city. For Samantha, she loves to run her way through the city. She has turned her interest and love for French culture to a reality by moving to Paris for her Masters. She has learn to embrace the French art de vivre and when she isn’t working you will most likely catch her running the streets of Paris. She is a huge source of inspiration for those looking to keep fit and active in Paris, learn more about Samantha’s Paris below.
Describe yourself in a few words…
I’m from small-town USA, but I’ve always preferred the city life. I’m very active; sports and healthy living have long since been an integral part of my every day. In short I’d say I’m curious and motivated, small but mighty.
Where are you originally from?
A small town in western Massachusetts. I lived in NYC for 4 years while studying for my bachelor’s degree before moving to Paris in 2013.
Officially, I came to earn my master’s degree at Sciences Po. Unofficially, I was looking to find the French art de vivre that had been prying at me since I was very young. I’ve always had an interest in French culture; the selling point was when I studied abroad here during my studies at NYU in 2011. When I returned to the US I felt I’d left a part of me behind. I made it my immediate focus to come back to Paris.
In your opinion…
Paris is…..for myself and many expats, a new beginning. Opportunity. Teeming with culture and experiences to be shared. It’s full of contrast and contradictions, which is one thing that makes it so rich.
Paris isn’t…always a magical cliché. Like any big city, it’s not void of gritty imperfections. Take the metro a few times and you’ll understand.
When did your love for running begin?
I’ve been an athlete my entire life, but I started training for my first race about 5 years ago while living in NYC. My dad was a marathon runner at the time, which I think pushed me into the distance. As a student in a big city, running was a way to escape, to stay balanced and focused on different objectives. What was a casual pastime quickly became a healthy addiction.
Tell us about your running club/team in Paris…
I found the Adidas Runners through social media about a year and a half ago. I was getting tired of my solo running routine and decided to check it out. I haven’t looked back since.
Right now I run with a few different teams. The first is the Adidas Runners Jaurès team, which is comprised of different runners of all levels in the district. We meet once a week for an official run but often train informally up to 3-4 times each week in smaller groups.
Next is the Adidas Runners Paris elite team, which is selection-based and more focused on performance for specific races. The trainings are led bi-weekly by adidas coaches at the INSEP (National Institute of Sport, expertise, and performance).
The third is called Stamina Running Club, which is a new project that seeks to revisit the notion of group running in new and creative ways, from trail running, to mini-races, to running undiscovered routes in Paris.
This may sound like a lot, but it’s only just beginning!
How many races have you done so far in Paris/Europe… Which one has been your favorite so far?
I’ve run several (too many to count) 10k races and half-marathons in Paris, as well as a 30k trail race and two Paris marathons. I’ve also recently run the Berlin marathon, the Amsterdam half-marathon, and a 20k race in Marseille. My favorite by far was the Berlin marathon. It was the pinnacle of weeks of hard training and sacrifice with an overwhelmingly positive atmosphere throughout. adidas sponsored and organized the trip and the entire experience was very smooth and rewarding. Crossing that finish line and seeing I had beaten my objective was both satisfying and emotional in many ways.
If you had to leave Paris tomorrow, what would you miss the most?
The life I’ve created here. Paris has become my home, I won’t be leaving tomorrow!
What’s next for you?
Many more races on the horizon in 2017: half marathons, trail races, marathons…and lots of new adventures not only in running but in my career (I work in digital communications) and in my personal life.
I’m looking forward to another big year!
Top recommended places in Paris to:
VISIT- Palais de Tokyo, Centre Pompidou, Jeu de Paume, Jardins des Serres d’Auteuil
EXPLORE- Boutiques and galleries in the Marais
RUN- Buttes Chaumont and Canal de l’Ourcq
Follow Samantha’s adventures in Paris on IG: @samfect…