Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Marathon de Paris

Before the 26 miles....

After the 26 miles.

We did it. On Sunday April 11th, a bunch of us got up out of our Parisian hotel beds at 6am to eat porridge and bananas, drink sports drinks, affix race numbers and get a bit nervous.

Accompanied by wonderful support crew we got on the metro and made our way to the Arc de Triomphe for a power bar and a pee.

Then eventually we got underway. What a wonderful city to run your way around. The sun shone down hard as the tens of thousands of runners circumnavigated her streets. Past Place de la Concorde and Bastille, then along the river with the Eiffel Tower in view. All the typical touristy shots but with an undercurrent of discomfort that eventually grew into pain by about the 19 mile mark.

But complete it I did. Along with managing to wipe five minutes off my only other marathon time which was both pleasing and surprising. No lastly injuries except for a couple of toenails which are threatening to detach at the next opportunity.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Marathon prep

Now we're getting to the business end of this whole marathon malarkey.

Today I purchased new socks, drink sachets and power bars that taste a bit like the kitchen bench.

Right now I think I need all the help I can get. Even if I know it may well make me gag 20 miles in.

Friday, 1 April 2011

Hitting mountain roads

In complete contrast to my barefoot run along the blinding white sanded Seven Mile Beach in the Cayman Islands, last week I got to run along the roadside of mountain passes in the French Alps.

In places the flanks of towering peaks were heavy with a thick blanket of snow, in others sheer cliffs fell hundreds of feet with layers of terribly scarred rock to appeal to the amateur geologist in all of us.

Fortunately for this runner, the roads were clear, apart from the odd manic Fiat driver. I could freely make my way past the untouched folds of bright white snow, with skiers in the background enjoying the last runs of the day amongst the pointy little pine trees, all set under a brilliantly blue sky. Just simply a picture perfect wintry scene.