Greetings from Gay Paris
On April 15th 2012, 35,000 Runners including 3 Sydney Striders, Leigh, Andre and I convene on Champs Elysees for the running of the 2012 PARIS MARATHON. It was my 32rd Marathon, and I was very excited at the thought of running though another beautiful city, along the aisles of spring leaves avenues of Paris. My list of goals is always
1. To Finish .
2. Don’t get injured.
3. Don’t Die.
4. Have fun.
My Training was hampered by rain, heat , humidity, in Feb and March and a very sore heel, I was advice by my chiropractor to rest for 2 weeks, with only five weeks before the run, I must confess I took the “head in the sand “approach to the message my body was giving and trained on with Glen and the MTG. Nurofen before my runs and ice after, help to ease the pain.
My favourite part of marathon training is when the taper begins . I love an excuse to do “less” in anything – this time I cannot be categorised as “lazy”. The best part of being part of Sydney Striders are the coaching advice, inspiration and interest bursting from everyone.
Arriving in Paris on Friday afternoon, My daughter Claudia, my wife Lynn and I , ran the 5 Kms Breakfast run on Saturday, carrying an Aussie flag, and meeting runners from all over the world. After the run, we walked another 2 kms to the bus stop for a tour of Versailles, we must have covered approx 14 kms the day before the Marathon.
Marathon day greeted us with a very cold 4 Degrees C, accompanied by a very strong wind. I am sure my body thought that I was in Antarctica. I should have been in bed with a book and a hot chocolate, but I took my place on the starting line.
The marathon started along the tree lined Champs Elysees, and covered a mixture of terrain, We ran though three beautiful Gardens, four Tunnels, including the one, Lady Di lost her life, the Latin Quarters, passing lots of beautiful old buildings, and the Seine river that runs though the city. I ran conservatory, crossing the 5 kms mark in 27 minutes, and the half way in 1hr55mins. I fell good and thought if the heel didn’t object , I’ll keep the pace for a 3.45 finish. I did have to laugh at water stations though – water + banana peel + orange peel + slippery cobblestones was almost “Three Stooges” amusing. At 33 kms I started to feel my right heel, and stopped for a message at the 36 kms mark, while a young lady gave me a rub down. Off I went at a very slow pace for the last 6 kms, finishing in a time of 4hrs,12 Sec.
I thought the race route was fantastic, the volunteers were great, the participants were friendly and encouraging, the crowds along the route was magnificent, they never stop cheering, with approximately 20 bands along the way, made the run so enjoyable, I highly recommend, and would love to run again.
I have to tell of one amusing incident. At the back of the pack near the start and with the lack of toilets for the gals, one woman knicked into the toilet just before the start line. As the officials were keen to open the Champs Elysees to traffic pronto, this ladies’ cubicle (porto potty) was put on a truck and began to drive away . Her screams were heard by others and fortunately she was “freed” to race. I’ll bet her race plan went out the window. Ah, the mayhem of a huge event.
My body now says that it is time to get on my bike or hit the pool rather than the road, so my next event will no doubt be an ocean swim somewhere. So to all of you who have a new running goal, all the very best and happy kilometres pounding the pavement.