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Paris Marathon 14th April 2019 Time: 2.48.17 / 416th Wava 86.2
I’ve long coveted the Paris marathon. Training had gone well with my first 350m+ month in March and the hope was for a sub 250 time.
We arrived late on Saturday - thanks Gillets Jaunes!! Pretty frantic as we dashed across Paris for my younger sons Paris marathon fun run around the Eiffel Tower which was great, got to the expo, had a good walk around central Paris and then had to find my older son who got lost on his way to his hotel! A nice bistro a few glasses of wine and in bed at 11.30 to be awoken at 3.42 am! A few weird hours in the hotel lobby and joined 50,000 others on a very chilly Champs Elysee with the Arc de Triomphe behind us for the start at 8.27. I felt very lucky to be here.
BANG, the elites and c800 other / corporate runners disappeared up the road from their wave start to leave an empty Champs de Elysee. BANG, my wave were off and couldn’t resist an empty Champs Elysee so I and a small group legged and led the wave through the historic centre with mile 1 coming up in 5.41 - opps!
It steadied into 6.15 minute miles and from mile 2 started passing runners from the earlier wave, spending the first half of the race running around groups of slower runners and off the race-line but in time thankfully this wave thinned. Crowd support was good (not a patch on London), there was plenty of music bands on the course and conditions were good, a gentle breeze, dry and sunny but key it was cool/ cold. Found a good rhythm, just knocking off the 5 k markers - decided my race would be 8*5 km chunks – in a surprisingly consistent 19.26, 19.30, 19.55, 19.40 and half way in 1.22.48.
As it was cold, I took 4 SIS gels as thought my body would burn up more energy trying to stay warm, taking them at 10m, 15m, 20m and 23m.
I felt really comfortable and loved running this course and through the city. The next 10 k passed the Bastille along the Seine, seeing Notre Damm, the Eiffel Tower on the opposite bank with there being a few underpasses – which were pleasantly warming as I was getting cold.
(25k, 19.43 30K, 20.21 35K 20.34 40K 20.20)
I like to lock-in time, as when you do hit a bad patch or the breathing gets a bit tight, you can ease off and recover, so took the section from 30-40 K a bit easier as knew a 2.48 or 2.49 time was on if I kept focused and positive so kept a decent pace and running down target runners ahead. What was odd was in places you shared the course with Sunday runners, scooter riders, cyclists and some cyclists filming their sons running the race – quite surprised to see this on such a major city marathon. Also surprised at this point to see two sets of identical twins, who featured in the pre-race publicity, both walking to the finish at around the 32 and 35 k mark.
40K came @ 2.39.20 in the Bois de Boulogne Park which I found to a really calming end to a marathon without thousands of over-excited screaming spectators, a slight hinderance being plenty of cobbles to run over. I felt good so sped up a touch. The finishing line came into view with the Arc behind it, an amzing and welcome sight, and crossed in 2.48.17.
This report sounds like my race was composed and planned, and it was to a point, but on the day and in the moment, as we all know it’s nothing like that, it was tough and you are always aware that problems or an injury could be 100 metres up the road. Really pleased with the race gets a 9/10.