The Olympics won't be the only sporting highlight for the French capital this year, as one of the more unusual footraces returns for the first time since 2011, with over 200 cafe waiters running a two-kilometer course carrying loaded trays.
The race, first run in 1914, requires the contestants, wearing the traditional white shirt, black trousers and apron, to follow the route through the narrow streets of the Marais district, carrying a tray with a croissant, a coffee and a glass of water, without spilling a drop. Strictly speaking, they won't be running the race; running is banned. The race starts and ends at the Hotel de Ville, along the Seine.
The waiters' race was originally started to "highlight this French style of service, these establishments that are envied the world over, this Parisian way of life," according to Nicolas Bonnet-Oulaldj, deputy mayor responsible for business. Another city department, responsible for the city's water supply, is putting up the €100,000 sponsorship fund.
While the Paris race on March 24th will be the first in the city in recent years, the tradition has continued in a number of other cities around France.