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Millions of people all over the world go running, and thousands of these runners take part in the Paris Marathon.

We watch Viviane, François, Sacha, Mario and others training in Paris, Stuttgart and Valencia. It is October, and they have already started preparing for the Paris Marathon in April 2002.
Over 30,000 runners set off from the Champs Elysées: for the vast majority, the race is simply a personal challenge they set themselves. The champions start at 9.00 a.m. and most will take two and a half hours to run the 42.75 kilometres of the marathon. A quarter of an hour later, the rest of the field set off at their own pace. They will cross the finishing line four, five or even six hours later, totally exhausted.
The thirtieth kilometre is very tough. The runners' breath comes in gasps, they are parched with thirst, their muscles ache and their clothes weigh them down. The desire to give up is almost overwhelming.
They finally make it to the finishing line, promising themselves they will never do it again - till the next time, when the challenge of beating their personal best will once again prove irresistible.