Vive Le Marathon: Some handy phrases for Paris 2013


A few of my friends are running the Paris Marathon this weekend (including the fantastic Sarah Fry who is aiming for sub 3:35 as part of the Asics Target 26.2 team*) so it’s only fitting that I post a little something to wish them luck. Rather than give in to casual racism and write about garlic-flavoured energy gels and such, I thought I’d go for the equally lazy option of posting a few French phrases which may come in handy** along the 26.2 mile route…

Pardonne-moi, Est-ce que ca vous gêne si je fais pipi dans votre jardin?

Excuse me, would you be offended if I widdled in your front garden?


Ce déguisement d’Obélix n’était pas très bien réfléchi.

This Obelix costume was a poorly thought out idea.


Merci, cette médaille est étincelante.

Thank you, this medal is ever so shiny.


Commissaire, je suis chassé par des loups.

Marshal, I am being chased by wolves!


Et Voilà! Une magnifique scission négative.

Witness my magnificent negative split!


Aidez-moi! La friction est telle que la douleur va devenir une histoire mythique.

Help! My chafing has reached such a level that my agony will become the stuff of legend!


Combien de temps y-a-t-il avant la prochaine station de bourgogne?

How much further to the next merlot station?


Flamant rose!



Mais Monsieur le gendarme, il y a une erreur. Clairement, j’ai dit flamant rose à cette demoiselle.

But officer, there must be some mistake. I clearly said Flamingo to that young lady.***


And if things really go wrong…

Entschuldigen Sie mir, mein Herr; ich habe mich verlaufen. Können Sie mich bitte auf den nächsten Rennenoffiziellen anweisen oder zumindest in der Richtung Frankreich! Herzlichen Dank

Excuse me kind sir, I’m a little bit lost. Could you please direct me towards the nearest race official. Or at least in the general direction of France. Thank you.


Many thanks to the lovely John-Paul McCrone for his French/English wizardry. A word of warning though… Although I love the man like a brother, I can’t guarantee 100% that Johnny will have resisted the urge to slip in some mischief. So don’t blame me if, for example, you try graciously thanking the organisers for your medal and end up saying “your leathery knees are the sexiest things I’ve seen this fortnight, Mr lobster-breath”. Thanks also go to Alex Bellars for stepping in with a spot of German. This is by far my most multicultural post ever; it’s practically a Benetton advert.

A final mention to Matt aka Angry Jogger, whose training diary for Paris has kept me entertained and made me wee myself twice. If you haven’t checked out his blog, what’s wrong with you?! Do it now.

So, to everyone running around Paris this weekend, Bon Chance.



* For any of you who haven’t been following Target 26.2 in Runner’s World magazine, they’re basically the running community’s equivalent of the Power Rangers.
** They won’t.
*** If you’re slightly confused by this “Flamingo” nonsense, all will be revealed here.

5 thoughts on “Vive Le Marathon: Some handy phrases for Paris 2013

  1. Just in case the situation does arise.

    Your leathery knees are the sexiest things I’ve seen this fortnight, Mr lobster-breath

    Vos genoux en peau de cuir sont les choses le plus sexy j’ai vu dans le dernier deux semaines, Monsieur haleine d’hommard.

    This is an approximate trans-wizard-lation. They’ll get the idea.

    And for all those running the Paris marathon this weekend, I DO NOT say ‘bon chance’. The French consider it bad luck. Instead the say ‘merde’. I have no idea why but this is true.

    Also, you’ll probably be running past my front door. Try not to wake me up with heavy breathing. It confuses me.

  2. I will absolutely compliment a man on his leathery knees if I find them arousing. Though unlikely, hopefully I’ll spot one or two of the folk I know running there! 🙂

  3. Just the best – humour AND education in a single post. I am tempted to go to Paris, even though I’m not in the race, just to make use of the multilingual flamingo. Your advice came in proper handy at the North Tyneside 10k last Sunday, though I think my new PB may have been down to being chased by the rozzers… lucky I’d replenished my electrolytes from that octogenarian only a half mile previous.

  4. Love this post! Will most definitely be trying out as many of these phrases as possible … I’m sure being chased by irate French people who don’t like being told they have leathery knees may add an extra burst of speed to the final 6.2 miles …

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s