Paris marathon on the 8th April was the next on my list. Carol and I flew out on the 2nd and spent a few days being tourists including a cycle ride out to Versailles and back.
Sunday morning dawned bright with a hot day forecast. I on the other hand raised bleary, sleep starved and rheumy eyes to the sunshine outside and wanted to just curl up and try to get some sleep. Carol and I had caught some sort of bug and coughed and spluttered our way through the last couple of nights.
The expo had been well organised a little bit away from the centre but easy enough to reach by metro. Our hotel was 2 metro stops away from the start on the “Champs”. The train was full with runners and you just needed to tag on to them to make your way to the start and what a start! Not quite as iconic as the Great Wall perhaps but certainly up there.
The elites were well gone by the time we shuffled forward to start. The temp was already 17 degrees and within 10K had risen to 21 degrees. I was managing to move along but realised that my intended time of 4:30 was beyond me. I was popping paracetamols as I ran along and grabbing water at every station approx every 5K. I was running between stations but walking the length of the water stations. I started picking up food after 15K there was quite a choice laid out, bananas, oranges, cake, raisins and sugar lumps.
The sun was beating down thankfully we went through a long tunnel which helped cool me down this was around 25K and came as a great relief!
The course was totally traffic free and wound it’s way through Paris’s two main parks each park providing a certain amount of shade. Support on the streets was amazing and I got a pleasant surprise when I saw Carol at the 26Km mark as we had agreed just to meet at the end. It gave me a wee lift and helped me through the next few K’s.
By the last few K’s I was as spent as I had ever been in any marathon and just wanted it to end.
The finish is on Av Foch just around from the start and I knew Carol would be waiting for me. Unfortunately we did not see each other as I came to the finish so I moved through t shirt collection and medal presentation grabbed water and headed for an exit to meet her. 4:46:35 was the official time texted to my phone before I had even got my T shirt!.