I have completed my first marathon! I ran the very well attended Paris Marathon 2012 on Sunday April 15th. There were around 35,000 runners and, contrary to what I had thought, it was really well supported. Lots of crowds lining the streets.
Paris Marathon 2012
I had a plan in mind, which was to try and run as close to 3:30:00 pace as possible and see where it got me. I had orchestrated my marathon training plan according to that. I thought I should start out slow at around 8:10 minutes per mile for 10 miles, then speed up to 7:50 per mile for the next 10 miles and slow down to 8:00 minutes a mile for the final six. Of course, plans never quite work out. I gradually increased my pace over the first 10 miles, but wasn’t able to get up to 7:50 per mile and by 19 miles I knew I wasn’t going to make 3:30:00. But I soldiered on and with a little walking over the final six miles I came in at 3:43:25 in 9810th place. I have yet to get my nutrition right during a long run and I certainly hit the wall at 20 miles. I need to experiment a little more to find what works for me.
My wife, Victoria, brother-in-law Sean and nephew Al came to support me round the course and amazingly managed to spot me twice in the mass of people running. I had thought it would thin out at some point, but it didn’t. It was solid all the way round, which possibly did hamper my pace a little at times. It was really good to see them when I did at 13.5 miles at La Bastille. I have edited together a short video of my Paris Marathon 2012 weekend.
Thoroughly enjoyed the race and the whole weekend. I do love Paris and I am very lucky that my wife’s brother lives there. We arrived on the Thursday before the race and I went for a 10k jog on Friday from the Grande Arch at La Defense to the Arc De Triomphe and back. Also had to go to the Running Expo to register and get my race number. There was that scary moment when you think the person checking your documents is going to find a minor error which prevents you from running. But all was well and I got various bags of goodies too. There is a t-shirt and a medal at the end of the race too.
Running for Macmillan
The night before the race Victoria and I attended a pasta party at Ristorante Samesa on Rue Brey near the Champs Elysee, organised by Macmillan Cancer. I ran in aid of Macmillan and raised close to £100 at the last count. They provided some support along the way but no massage tent at the end!
Update: Since running the 2012 Paris Marathon I have run it four more times. Please read about my awesome 2013 Paris Marathon here and my disastrous 2014 race here, my 2015 PB time here and my filming of the race in 2016 here.