Saturday, 11 April 2009

Paris Marathon, 5th April 2009

The day was finally here, April 5th 2009, the day of the Paris Marathon. I had a fantastic weekend, made so much better by all the amazing supporters who came to see myself and Julia run.

We all arrived on the Friday and checked into L'Hotel Pacific, just a mile from the Eiffel Tower. After heading to the Expo to pick up our numbers, we enjoyed some of the Parisian bars and had a nice meal at a classic French restaurant. On Saturday, Julia and I mostly relaxed, chilling out by the Eiffel Tower and making sure we ate lots of carbs for next day's run!

We were up at 6:30am on race day. I'd taken all the necessary equipment to make porridge in my hotel room (yes, I even packed my own kettle!). After breakfast was down, we headed to the Arc de Triomphe. My dad came along with us, which was great as he was able to take lots of pictures to capture the atmosphere of the day. After much queuing (for baggage and toilets) we just made it to the start in time. Unfortunately we were a long way off our starting pen (the 3:45 slot), and had to push our way forwards. We got to the back of the 4:30 start pen, so spent the majority of the marathon overtaking people. Possibly a good mental tactic however!! The race was brilliant, a great atmosphere, and we saw our family and friends five times along the route in total, which provided a real boost in the later miles. We were aiming for 8:25/mile. We managed the first few in just under that, but unfortunately a blockage at the first water stop meant we were stood still for 2 minutes, making that one a 10:19 mile!! We had some catching up to do, but wanted to make sure we didn't overdo it in the early miles and pay for it later. We went through the half marathon in 1:52:20, only 20 seconds off target for a 3:45 marathon. I felt strong throughout the race, my legs only really started to hurt with about 5 miles to go. Julia and I ran together for most of the race. Unfortunately we got separated with about 3 miles to go at a busy water station.
The home straight to the finishing line was great, I put on a little (very little!) burst to the finish and was very pleased with my final time of 3:48:36!! A PB by 1 hour and 7 minutes, can't complain with that!! Julia came in just after in 3:51 :-).
Even better, we have raised over £2000 between us for Pancreatic Cancer UK!! A HUGE thank you to everyone who helped make that total possible!
If you'd still like to, it's not too late to sponsor me:

So, what next....
Well, recovery has been the name of the game this week, with just 1 mile or running and a bit of swimming. I'm itching to get back running again though (who'd have thought it a few weeks back!). I have lots more races planned for the summer (albeit shorter ones!), the next one being the Balmoral 10k in only a couple of weekends time. And I'm already contemplating my next marathon, haha.... not for a while yet mind!!


Julia said...

Brilliant to read, who'd have thought running 26.2 (or 26.6 as we did!) miles could be so much fun!! So glad I agreed to do it with you in March last year!!

Still not sure how we both made it to the start line with no major injuries!!

So, what next...?! Ha ha!! x

jokirby said...

What next eh....Berlin...San Francisco?? Both..haha! I'll convince you yet! x