PARIS MARATHON 2015
I was very conscious of trying everything I could that weekend to get the prep right to give me the best chance of a good race. Limassol marathon from 2 weeks before was still in my head. Constantly wondering if it would prove too much, 2 in 2 weeks, knew how exhausted I was crossing the line in Cyprus 80 degrees and red raw from sunburn and sweat/chaffing….
Flight out very early Saturday morning drop bag at hotel and then go register .. The Expo on the Saturday was excellent very slick and well organised.
Pasta at small Italian Saturday night assured the carb loading, great to have them there too.. Early night in spite of the underground trains rumbling around below my bedroom til midnight.
Race day up for breakfast at half six and metro ride to the start. We Set off in ten minute waves which meant no holdups or bottlenecks, off past the Place de la Concorde and Hotel de Ville, weather not too hot.
Support fantastic along the way, every road lined and police, ambulance and fire crews all out at their stations. The fire ladders were backed up over the road with the fire men sat out over the top of the runners, now you’d never see that over here and a site I won’t forget. Bands every mile and main junction…
Drinks stations were well stocked with water and chopped fruit for everyone.. Five miles in and feeling fresh.. Flying along and enjoying the experience..
Out through the districts towards the zoo and through the parks, even here support fantastic.. 8 miles out and think we turned round onto the Seine, getting hot now. Support still fantastic, all Paris has turned out to cheer us on Allez Allez..
Constantly checking distances and times, playing games with my brain to take my mind off the running. 10 miles down 16 to go.
Half way still feeling great, not skipping any stations and taking gels every 4 miles, determined to stay fuelled.
The road is undulating through subway tunnels up and down now which is sapping my legs.
16 miles down ten to go – you can do this.. COME ON.. Still on time, running some 8 minute miles, fantastic, keep it up.. Can see Notre Dame on the other bank.. Keep going, you’ve got this…
Then 20 miles there’s a big screen with the wall on it.. I didn’t need reminding ! .. Into the drinks station and fuelled up, there’s the 3:45 pace man with his flag again, he’s ahead but he’s pulling away, my legs are feeling heavy now, must stay with him.. Damn.. 21 miles god I’m tired want to walk, less than 10k to go, I can usually eat a 10K so what’s the problem? Pace runner is in the distance now.. As long as I don’t get taken by the next one…. 22 miles, the end in sight surely.. Keep going .. lost all my positive thoughts, trying to do the maths, brain won’t work..
Support’s so great. Somehow you just keep going. Taken all my gels now and somehow there’s a bit of ease in my legs, feet are red raw sore bet they’re bleeding and blisters on the balls of my left foot, can feel the heat from it and can feel the burning under my arms where the sweat has rubbed me raw.. But am at 23 miles running through parkland now and the support is less here, running on cobbles but I’m now chasing a time, a PB is still possible, do it do it, come on, don’t you dare walk.
I remember a hill but just power through it come on.. 24 miles this is it – the clock is ticking down.. a ten minute mile, that’s rubbish but I can’t run any faster doing the maths doing the maths come on, battle of wills.. 24 miles about 3:35 come on need to smash this..just keep going, I’m walking but can’t help it, start again run walk run 25 miles where’s the end, 1.2 miles to go, I’m stumbling a bit and giving it everything, there’s not much left.
I’m coming out of the park onto the Rue Voche this is it, run run, the fans are cheering us all in, I manage a sprint god Im tired but I need to put on a good finish.. There’s always a camera somewhere going to capture my pain.. Smile!, It’s there got go go.
There’s the line ..Yes I did it ! through the finish and Ian and Emma are there, amazing feeling overwhelmed by it all think I’m crying., Jeeez.
I’ve got a plane to catch in an hour must run, ha ha there’s blood down my legs from my shorts, no time to hang around, soaked in sweat and sore beyond belief..quick group hug for Ian and Emma and off again. Metro is swamped with people, hobbling long with my bag..plan B find a coach going to airport, not sure if we will make it. Phew… And relax as we arrive on time….
The battle we play with our minds and bodies when running 26.2 miles is what makes the marathon such a special race.. I think you can pretty much just go out and run a 10k (it might not be fast or stylish) and most of us have a half marathon within us if we dig deep, but to run a marathon isn’t something you can wing.. it takes the right amount of training and will power and that’s why I love it, but it does things to my body for weeks afterwards, but as they say the pain wears off but not the memory of the buzz of the race.
Shaun Sagar – Village Road Runners