Paris Marathon

paris-start.jpg

Where & When:

Paris, 2017. Do I need to write anything about it? It’s Paris!

Why I ran this course:

I was on a roll at this point, Bagan to Tel-Aviv, the fitness and conditioning was there. In the past I’d become lazy and stopped running following a race. I had a chance here to keep going, so before Tel-Aviv was run I’d signed up to another. Why Paris? A best friend (and at that time house-mate) Bobby had signed up to Paris as his first marathon so the incentive was to be a familiar face and supporter along the journey.

We both knew a few others who’d be out there running too (a colleague, James, in my case).

The Course:

Through the heart of Paris, taking in the sights of….Paris. C’mon. Don’t make me have to describe this one. There’s that  big thing on the route. Y’know, the thing that looks like the Blackpool Tower. People keep talking about the cobbles. I don’t remember the cobbles!

paris tower
Blackpool Tower

 

The Organisation:

As expected for such a major race, with tens of thousands of participants this was a huge undertaking that, for the best part, ran smoothly and efficiently. Some over-crowding was encountered at the race expo and the race itself but this is probably unavoidable with so many runners involved. It’s a fairly pricey marathon but you do benefit from various free social media and other interactive benefits along the way, if you are into that sort of thing. If you are thinking about Paris, do be aware of the requirements to provide a medical certificate for races in France! You could easily miss it in the regulations if you don’t pay attention (I almost did).

The Atmosphere/Support:

Generally good. A big turn out from the city and excellent support from the the main sports partner Asics who had various cheer zones and other ‘fun’ bits along the route.

My Race:

I’m writing this a good few months after the race (can you tell?) and I don’t really remember much about it to be honest. I certainly don’t remember the training. I do know my belly was pretty bloated around this time though. I’ve never really worked on the nutritional side of running. I kinda of ignorantly eat whatever I want as I’m ‘burning it off’. I know that’s not the case though. Either way, that’s my main memory. I had a big belly. The other memory is not being able to figure out the sofa-bed and waking up in the morning underneath it.

paris bobby
Ready to do this!

As I’d entered with a 3:30 expected finish time I was able to set off in one of the earlier pace groups and so was fortunate to have a pretty un-congested run. With wide streets for most of the course I was uninhibited and able to settle into a strong pace from the start, taking in the sites and landmarks as I progressed. Pushing myself towards the finish I was confident in breaking my PB from Myanmar 5 months earlier. When I came to the finish, James was already there. We grabbed a photo and went off for the most ridiculously expensive sandwich and milkshake on the Champs-Élysées. Screw you Paris!

Later on I met up with Bobby at the finish line and we went off to grab a beer, in a bookies. That’s more like it.

 

The goodies:

T-shirts, Medals, supplies of sports nutrition and a handy pack-able bag. Discounts and offers in local bars and restaurants when displaying a finishers medal was also a nice touch.

Time/Standings:

  • 3:23:12 (PB) 3988
  • 3988 / 42469

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