Saturday, 18 April 2015

Race report: Paris Marathon 2015

Three Plodders skived off the Sheffield Half to run the Paris marathon last weekend. Julian, Susan and Claire made the trip across to France to run this flat city marathon (a nice change from Peak District hills). We'd been warned of the dangers of running on the cobbles but our off road training served us well!

A tiny 'go plodders!' message at registration

The dangers on race day were all the banana skins at the drinks stops which made for slippery running, and the heat - although it was nice to run in the sun the temperature hit 21 degrees! Luckily for us (more so for me) the Parisian fire fighters were out cooling runners off every 5k with hoses and buckets of water, surely every girl's dream?!

Susan sparked controversy by not wearing her plodder vest.

After setting off down the Champs Elysées, the route runs down past the Louvre, the Hôtel de Ville, the Bastille and out into the Bois de Vincennes. This section in the woods was quiet and boiling hot, and I happened to bump into a Totley runner! Leaving the woods, you run past the Bastille again, then down to the river, where you run along the Quais and through some tunnels (annoying because your Garmin loses signal). After passing the Eiffel Tower, you enter the Bois de Boulogne.

This is where I started to struggle with the heat and was generally wishing I'd not missed as much training due to that hula hooping injury... It seemed to go on forever but eventually you emerged at the bottom of Avenue Foch and the finish line was in sight! I had a bit of a panic and ended up sprinting for the line, making my fanciful sub-4 hour target with 24s to spare!! I was dead pleased with this as I've hacked 32 mins off my PB time AND I didn't even cry! Julian cut it fine too but managed sub 3:15 so has a GFA London entry and Susan overcame injury to finish in a fab 4:31.

The crowds were fantastic, a bit like Le Tour with people reading your names from your bib and shouting "allez!" Big thanks to our supporters, especially Kev who managed to spot us all and get some photos. I would definitely do this race again, if only for another excuse to scoff baguettes and croissants!

The next day we rested in true Plodder style by climbing up the Eiffel Tower and drinking beer in the sun.

Casually wearing medals on the Eiffel Tower

Julian Wareham 3:14:42
Claire Duts 3:59:36
Susan Hall 4:31:41