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Paris Marathon - 15th April 2012

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So the big day arrived, all preparation had gone well and I was eager to the start and get running. Even the first part was a challenge, battling my way to where I wanted to be on the start line amongst 35,000 others! Eventually I resorted to climbing the 8 foot fence and hoped I wasn’t too far off people running my pace. Actually I was surrounded by much slower runners and I did find it very frustrating for the first 10 miles but with a bit of weaving and dodging I managed my target pace, picking it up from then and passing through the half way mark in 1hr38:02 – bang on!

Buoyed by the experience of settling into a pace I wanted to run at, without hindrance, things went well until 18 miles where I was slightly ahead of schedule. Then, suddenly in the 19thmile a sharp pain in my knee started, taking me by surprise (I hadn’t had any problems in training) and I slowed slightly as a consequence and by the last 5 mile general fatigue was also setting in and causing me to slow even more. The last 2 miles were a real struggle (cobbles did not help!) and more of a stumble than a run, but seeing my brother and his girlfriend with less than a mile to go they urged me on and I finished in 3 hours 22 minutes and 27 seconds. Given my experience from 18 miles this was actually closer to my target than I was beginning to think, I smashed my previous best, and finished 76thsenior lady, so certainly happy with that!

I can’t say I enjoyed it and I can’t say I really noticed much off Paris; the Eiffel Tower was hard to miss as it towered above me at 18 miles, but other than a couple of parks, in and out of subways and a stretch alongside the River Seine all I really saw was tarmac feet and legs!</p>