The Paris Marathon was less than two weeks ago, though it is already starting to feel like a distant memory. In someone ways this is good, as I am starting to forget just how much pain so was in near the end of the marathon!
The pre-marathon expo was well laid out and registration was hassle-free. I was pleased to see the presence of more niche stands like Raidlight and Hoka as well a a whole section of the expo dedicated to off-road events. There was a 5 kilometre non-competitive run on the Saturday morning which I was looking forward to, and at five euro entry including a technical tee it was a bargain! However, thanks to what I shall summarise as a technical malfunction, i.e. the course map I was looking at online was from a year ago, and they had since reversed the course, at the start time I was stood under the finish line banner wondering where everyone else was!
The city itself was lovely and the marathon was a great way to do some sight-seeing. I’m not normally one for swinging by cities’ tourist traps but the event organisers had erected large signs in strategic locations around the course with helpful information such as “On your left… The Eiffel Tower!”
The weather was great, albeit a few degrees too warm to run without any electrolytes. Fortunately there were plenty of water stations and nearer the end, an increasing number of food stations too. The crowds were also fantastic; they helped pull me round the last few miles when I had hit the proverbial wall and my running stride has reduced to an unimpressive jog (more long distance runs required!). All in all it was a great long weekend and the post-race feasting was just as enjoyable as the pre-race carb-loading, with the extra bonus of some guilt-free French wine. The following afternoon whilst having a few well-earned beverages near the top of the steps to Montmatre, I particularly enjoyed watching other marathoners hobbling down the stairs!
Although I didn’t get a new PB, I’ve learnt a some lessons from my various mistakes and will adapt my training and race strategy accordingly. When will I get put these lessons into action? Well, after the Paris marathon I had a day off before getting back into the swing of things with a gentle run, and it was less than a week later when I was clocking up 17.5 miles on a training run with a new pair of road shoes (Hoka Rapa Nui 2 Tarmacs from the expo, since you’re asking!) My next marathon distance event is in less than a month, when I will do the off-road Excalibur marathon in North Wales with over 5,500 feet of ascent. Until then I’d probably best limit my supply of French wine!