Yesterday I published Beth’s Paris Marathon Recap, Part 1. We left off with Beth in the early miles of her marathon. Here is part 2, in her words…
At about the 9 km mark, I was happy to spot a familiar tee shirt “Montgomery County Parks ½ Marathon” being sported by a fellow DC native! I ran along side and chatted with Erika and Nate from Rockville for some 8 km. It was nice to talk with someone from our neck of the woods and hear about their numerous marathon adventures. I told them all about the Cruisers and Debbie’s blog, so I hope they find this!!
I lost my Maryland friends at a water stop, just as the day continued to warm and get even more beautiful. A little past the halfway point I looked up and saw the glorious “26” marker. For the briefest of moments my heart leaped—until I remembered it was 26 kilometers I’d run, just north of 16 miles, and far short of 26. Still, there’s something about running 42,195 kilometers that seems superior to a mere 26.2 miles. Note the French virgule, or comma, in lieu of our decimal, makes it seem an even greater distance, as if it were really 42 thousand, one hundred ninety five kilometers instead of 42,195 meters that we would soon complete. Interestingly, of the nearly 50,000 runners who registered for this year’s race, only around 40,000 of them showed up—of which some 1,500 did not complete the race. But, enough math for now. One of those who did not complete the race was one guy who decided to run the race with a giant Eiffel Tower strapped to his back. The last I saw of him (and he was rather hard to miss), he was staggering off the course at just past the 27 thousand meter marker…
I missed Tom at the second spectator site where he’d camped out on the sunny side of the Seine just North of l’Isle St. Louis, but, had to laugh about the guy I saw spread eagle holding the black iron rail fence near the Tour St. Jacques, peeing no handed—and not realizing (or caring) that there were people strolling on the other side. Not wanting to miss any sights, I ran with my iPhone; stopping frequently to take photos or to text Tom my location. At one of the photo stops where video was being taken—something I didn’t notice when stopping to take a photo of the recently renovated Conciergerie—I took a couple of photos of my own. I know this because in browsing the Marathon website a couple days after the race, I can be seen, pulling off the course and magically morphing from a runner into a tourist as I leisurely took a couple photos before rejoining the race.
This is a decision I made before beginning the race: That, despite some of the hardest training I’ve done for any race, I wouldn’t let an opportunity for a great photo pass without capturing the moment! I finished strong, up Avenue Foch near l’Arc de Trimphe where it all began earlier that morning. While my race time ended up not being anywhere near one of my best, I can truthfully say it was one of my most enjoyable races ever. I heartily recommend this race to those seeking a nice change of pace. In Paris, you can not only run into each other, you can also see them peeing, snurging, or perhaps heaving a half empty water bottle at your head!
Until next year, au revoir, and vive les coureurs! Long live runners!
- Do you befriend other runners during races?
- What’s your favorite marathon or half-marathon finishers’ medal?
- What’s your favorite post-race treat?