Sun, Apr 15, 2012 - 42K - 04:46:58
Paris Marathon 2012
I have been wanting to run Paris for years and this year it finally worked out to fly out for a three-day-weekend exploring the city for two days and on the third day running the marathon. I was planning to finish with a 4:15 - 4:30, and was able to successfully catch up to and stay with the 4-hour balloon until 25K but from there to 30K it was like air was leaking out of my tires and by 32K I was in just-make-it mode for the rest of the race. So from a performance point of view, it was not an ideal race for me, but from as an experience of running in one of Europe's most beautiful capitals, and running in a major marathon with over 40,000 runners, it was a collection of memories I'll never forget. Running past the Eiffel tower was definitely a highlight, as well as all the fun conversations with runners from the Netherlands, London, New York, Australia, Cambridge and one French man who lives on an island in the Pacific. Also, at 30K I coincidentally met another runner I know from a small town in Germany, an absolutely small world. Here's some pictures and stories to remember the day: 
Woke up 5:30 AM and started following the Twitter hashtag #parismarathon to see what my fellow runners were eating for breakfast, their hopes for the day, and when they left their hotel rooms, a bonding experience: 
I sent out my own tweet and took off for the race: 
When I walked out, Paris was just starting the day: 
In the subway I met a couple from the Netherlands, the man ran 5-day 250K races in the alps, said it was "breath taking" and I quickly caught on to the double meaning. They both said Rotterdam is definitely a marathon to run, extremly fast. Thanks to them and their map, we quickly arrived at the marathon entrance: 
This part of the city taken over by marathon runners, you could actually walk across the empty 5 lanes right up the Arc de Triomphe, which had an unbearably cold wind blowing through it: 
Me standing in the middle of the Champs Elysees, also not something you can do everyday: 
Ready to run: 
Fan photographing his girlfriend: 
VIDEO: The Start: 
Runners full of hope: 
Approaching the Louvre: 
Found a rabbit cutting through the crowds, followed her till I made it up to the 4-hour runners: 
Hotel de Ville: 
Like Berlin, very little room to maneuver: 
A couple from Italy pushing their kids for the duration of the marathon: 
Caught up with the 4:00 pace runner at about 11K: 
Much of the first half marathon was out of Paris proper through the Bois de Vincennes: 
Back into town: 
Place de Bastille 
Along the Right Bank 
Scenery that took your mind off the encroaching pain: 
Through the Tunnel under the Quai Francois Mitterand: 
The sudden uphills after each tunnel sapped energy from my legs: 
Back on flat ground: 
The long-awaited view: 
30K, the beginning of the end: 
Met up with a guy I know from a tiny town in Northern Germany, a very small world: 
Through the 16th Arrondissement 
Powerade Heaven: 
41, a wonderful number to see: 
Final stretch and finish: 
17th marathon done: