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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Paris Marathon and beyond.

Paris Marathon 2009 (where's Mally?)

This Sunday will see the Paris Marathon roll down the Champs Elysee as 40,000 runners pound its famous cobbles in the race that defined my love for running. This time last year I was a marathon virgin and was a bag of pasta fuelled nerves in the days leading up to it. I was a fairly laid back runner who just wanted to finish and savour the experience and of all the advice I received the words "Take your time and really enjoy your first one" were the ones that proved truest of all. I hoped going into it that I would finish and maybe do it sub 3:30, that was if I really pushed myself. But which is the better result, finish exhausted and spent or give high fives to kids along the route and cross the line with a smile on your face and head held high??? No brainer really! I had broken it into 10km sections in my mind and by kilometre 35 the sight of my wife and son was like an oasis in the desert. Of course I had thought to myself before hand that by that point I'd be sailing towards the finish. Wrong. With seven kilometres to go my mental resolve was needed more than ever. Sugar levels were low, legs were starting to wobble and my addled brain was having flitting thoughts about the most random of notions. But after 3:57 on the road I crossed the line with my hands aloft and proceeded to hug random strangers in celebration.

A beautiful city!

I can say that my running has improved a lot since then and I tend to take it a bit more seriously these days regarding my training, what I eat and how much I listen to my body. But a marathon is still a great accomplishment for anyone who attempts it. It is a truly unique event that seems to have become more accessible as the years have passed, and chances are that if you refer to the people at the back of the race as "fun runners" then you have probably never completed one. Because to everyone its a battle against the clock and within yourself. The only thing that separates the winner from the last placed person is the cheque as each person pushes themselves to be the best that they can be.

Ah the joy.

This weekend I will be running the Trail de Josas in western Paris which is a 35k horse trail and attracts about three hundred people, as opposed to the forty thousand in Paris. I am glad to say that the more events I enter the more my appetite for running and adventure is fortified. Until the next time.

See you round the bend.


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Running for Pearl

This blog is dedicated to my daughter Pearl who was diagnosed with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) in August 2009. My goal is to raise funds and awareness by doing what I love....Running.