Looking at views like these it’s not hard to imagine why so many people choose to take part in the Paris Marathon every year. I’ve done it four times now and the sights you see along the route still amaze me. Taking part in such a big event is both daunting and exciting (something all those runners preparing for London this weekend will no doubt be experiencing too) but running through the most beautiful city in the world is an unforgettable experience. Over 43,000 runners took part in the Paris Marathon 2016 and the average age of participants was 41, so I guess that makes me very average!
In addition to the thousands of people taking part in the marathon there were 250,000 spectators cheering and high fiving the runners along the 26.2 mile course which passes the most famous Parisian landmarks. Spotting your loved ones isn’t always easy with so many crowds – I missed my husband and daughter twice even though I ran past them within touching distance, but I finally got to see them just beyond the Eiffel Tower at the 18 mile mark.
In the days leading up to the marathon I hadn’t been feeling very well and was starting to think I might not be able to finish, or even start for that matter, but visiting the expo to collect my bib helped to get me in a better frame of mind, as did finding my name on the board amongst all the other runners. In total 57,000 people registered for the race (even though not all actually took part) so looking for your name is like trying to find a needle in a haystack!
The metro journey to the start line is always a nervous time but emerging from George V station on the escalator onto the Champs Elysees is a magical experience…the Arc de Triomphe and impressive Louis Vuitton store are right there in front of you…no time to shop though! Although the weather was perfect for sightseeing it wasn’t ideal for running. I don’t cope well with running in the heat, and typically there was a sharp spike in the temperature on race day, with the day before and after being cloudy and cool – the exact same thing happened last year. The temperature peaked at around 21c which is quite warm for April, but feels so much hotter when running. I poured as much water over me as I drank!
I had to stop for a moment to take a photo…it also gave me an excuse to have a few seconds rest!
By the end of it I was suffering from back ache and had massive blisters but the joy at crossing the finish line and putting the medal on made it all worth it…as well as seeing this cheeky little face of course!