Running a lot so I can justify going to the Parisian Chocolate Fair

Somehow in the crazy-busy last few days in getting a slew of product reviews published I didn’t quite get to talk about my weekend at the chocolate fair.  Obviously, that’s a problem.  Anytime I skip out on talking about chocolate I need to re-visit my priorities.

Thus, I’ll briefly catch you up on the last 7 days, outside of the world of publishing 60-80 page product reviews.

Now, obviously if I’m going to the Epicenter of Chocolate Nom, I need to get in some serious running.  Which is good, because I ran a ton over the past 7 days, but especially so on the weekend.  The peak of that was a 2hr 10min long run, which  I started around noon on Sunday.  It was a semi-rare beautiful sunny day out:


The previous day while walking past Hotel de Ville, I had seen a bunch of tents setup.  Turns out that the tents were part of the pre-race expo and ultimately finish line of a marathon relay.  The relay would do what I believe were 3KM loops along the Siene, and allowed you to create teams of varying sizes.

This particular road is generally closed on Sundays on warm days (yes, there’s a distinction I’ve discovered) to traffic to allow folks to run/ride/wander, but today it was also doubling as the race course.


Thankfully it wasn’t actually closed to other people, so I was able to join in on the course – which at this point was fairly empty.  Given the event started around 8-9AM, most of the faster teams would have been done at this point (especially in a relay scenario).


Eventually the route took me into the tunnel.  I LOVE the tunnel.  For two reasons.  First, the nearly 1-mile long stretch is totally awesome for testing GPS devices and failover to secondary pace mechanisms (i.e. footpods/internal accelerometers).  And secondly, it’s empty.  Which means I don’t have to dodge people.


For those curious, here’s what the tunnel looks like inside.  Yes, it obviously looks this fuzzy in real life – it’s like Star Wars and light-speed.  Well, at least when running as fast as I was. ;)


After exiting the tunnel I ran for a short bit before crossing the river and running along another now permanently closed riverside road towards the Eiffel tower.


Ultimately after the Eiffel I’d again cross the river back to the other side to head up towards the large park near/around Longchamp.  For whatever reason I had put my camera into my Camelback for the next 10 or so miles, and thus captured nothing.  So, here’s a map of where I went instead during that timeframe:


I’d ultimately run down the famous Avenue des Champs-Élysées before diving into the Tuileries gardens for a loop to burn a bit more time.  I actually ran around the Tuileries on Saturday as well, so I’ll give you two photos from then.


Also, someone appeared to have lost a giant golden ball in one of the fountains.  So, if you’re missing your oversized Christmas Tree ornament – I found it for you.


After exiting the gardens it was back down onto the same road that the race was being held.  Except they had just finished cleaning up (actually saw the cleanup crews grabbing the last signs as I came through).


A mile or so later I wrapped up my 18.5 mile (30KM) run, with a fairly solid average pace of 6:59/mile (4:20/KM).


The important part here is that the watch told me I now can burn 2,217 kCal at the chocolate fair.  Thus, off I went!

photo 1

Technically, it’s called the Salon du Chocolate, literally translated as Chocolate Fair.

photo 2

Once inside you’re immediately hit with the smell of chocolate.  Oh so glorious chocolate.  And, as we discovered, Parisians clearly appreciate chocolates as much as us:


Here’s the entire layout – on two floors actually:


There’s literally chocolate creations of every kind, from chocolate flowers:


To Nougat with bits of chocolate or other fruits in it:


To Oreo and Macaroon earrings:


To chocolate Bailey’s.  Free!


And of course, the raw cocoa itself:


While the majority of the floor features small chocolate shops with chocolate for sale, there are some rather large demonstration and/or art-work style items.  For example, the massive Asiana Airlines chocolate airplane:


Or this huge chocolate fountain twice the height of a human:


And finally, there was a chocolate fashion show, where the ‘clothing’ was made from chocolate:


This was packed.  It was crazy.  Note for people going next year: Arrive early to get a good spot.


Oh, and then these two were seen.  Apparently they didn’t make the cut for the runway show:


With that, we picked up some chocolate of our own and headed on out:


And thus – the conclusion to my weekend…but not my post!

Heads up to Tel Aviv folks:

As you all know, I travel quite a bit for work.  Most of my trips are incredibly short (i.e., I’m flying to Mexico City on Monday…for the day), and thus don’t give me much flexibility to meet up with folks.

But I know there are tons of DCR readers in Tel Aviv, and I’ll be there next week (after I’m done in Mexico City) and staying through the weekend….with The Girl as well.

So, if anyone is interested in some sort of meet-up on Friday evening, drop a note in the comments (your e-mail address is shown only to me), and we can try and arrange something.

Looking forward to it!

Thanks for reading, I’ve gotta run, off to pickup my visas for Brazil….


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  1. Tony

    Thanks for posting paces and distances in metric as well, very appreciated!

  2. lacey b

    Hey Ray luv the blog! Just was wondering if I am missing the review for your Adidas running watch that you are wearing in this post. I am on the verge of upgrading and looking for the best thing for me and the display on your watch looks great.

  3. amazing! running for chocolate story is very funny. eat up.

  4. marc steingrand

    hey just seen you meantioned you are comming to brazil, where you are going i am living in campinas near sao paulo area , perhaps you have time for a run or talk let me know..

  5. Efraim Shaw

    Hey Ray!
    Give us a heads up when your’e headed to NY!!!

  6. Guillaume

    This is why I adore your blog. :)

  7. Aben

    I am often in Tel Aviv but won’t be there when you are. If you have time go to the dead sea and test your ABC watches at -400m altitude (for running the Sea of Galilee is much better, i.e. not a desert, has stunning views but only -200m)

  8. morey000

    Is the Adidas Smart Run… chocolate syrup proof?

  9. Thor R

    So we all know your running pace is pretty awesome, but how’s your chocolate eating pace? Guesstimate on time to devour that chocolate airplane? ;-)

  10. Timely post (today) on the French national news website stating that eating chocolate does not get you fat, and even helps you lower your overall abdominal fatty tissues.
    I am sure there are some caveats, but pretty interesting given the timing of the post.


  11. Ced

    Hi Ray!

    I do not plan to go to Tel Aviv, but your post made me react because it makes me realize how often I must come accross you without noticing. I am French, living in Paris quite close to your home apparently, … I know very well the district where you live as I have been in this area for 15 years! I also like to go running & cycling on the Quais de Seine, Bois de Boulogne, Tuileries, … Actually, I’ve done almost the same tour as you did a few times. And I was also at the Chocolate fair and came accross the Marathon (but I was on my bike)!

    It would be nice to meet you sometime.

    I plan to replace my Garmin watch for a new triathlon unit & also my bike (for a Cervelo), which is why I initially accidently found your website.

    Now I come quite often, for pleasure and not only for technical advice!

    Thank’s & congratulations for all this work

  12. Lou

    Dude! You’re totally nuts. I don’t understand how you can be so freaking prolific in your blogging, travels, reviews, … it boggles.

  13. Rodolfo

    Hello DC! Finally you will make it to Brazil and South America, right! Great country and great people! If you come to Belo Horizonte, let me now so we can arrange some runs/swims/rides! Or maybe some new foods tour!

  14. Rodolfo

    link to youtu.be
    Short video of cycling activities in Belo Horizonte area!

  15. LV Bob

    This sight is the perfect blend of product and personal. I check daily for new posts and really miss when nothing is posted (though I certainly understand with your hectic schedule). I do really miss when there is no “Week in Review” post – you seem to always find some gems.

  16. Daniel

    Hi Ray

    I’m from haifa, it’s about 80km north of tel aviv, so going there is not a problem, what do you have in mind ?

  17. Daniel

    Hi Ray

    I’m from haifa, it’s about 80km north of tel aviv, so going there is not a problem
    what do you have in mind ?

  18. Love the idea of running right before a fair! Might need to try that for the San Diego county fair next year. Really liked the pics of your Paris run.

  19. Hey Ray,

    Didn’t know that you do meet-ups.

    If you ever come by to Malaysia and want to try some local food, drop me a word :)

  20. Lisa Appelson

    Hi! I live in TA and would be happy to welcome you to the city! Let me know what you’re thinking of. Lisa

  21. Herve

    Hi Rai,
    I’m following your posts for more than a year now. I’m a marathon and trail runner and also working in IT.
    I’m wondering what kinf of role you can have in the IT world to justify a 22h+ travel for one business day ?!
    Any chance to meet you in Switzerland soon ?

  22. Bruno

    Nice you are coming to Brazil. Where? Rio?

  23. Sil

    Hi, Ray! I stopped by looking for some race recap but I found something much more interesting…CHOCOLATE! OMG!!! You’ve made a really interesting blog, and I’m going to need some time to read ALL the info you have here. Congrats! And I envy you and the Girl for living in such a beautiful place to run around…!

  24. Adi

    Hi Ray,
    Welcome to Tel Aviv!
    Please drop me mail if you would like to have a Saturday morning run with our team (November 23rd).

  25. Theo

    Bring your bike to Rio! We have really nice montains to climb (or run…)