Posted by: Richard Bray | April 15, 2010

Paris Marathon 2010

The big day finally came – Paris Marathon 2010. 4 months of race training and several months cross training getting my reconstructed knee ready for the event.  I was determined to run a good time and with 6 friends all coming over to race the event too, I was determined to come out on top. However, my determination ran deeper than that. Some people fear snakes or spiders. Some people fear planes. I fear being beaten by novelty runners! My pride can not stand a man in a banana suit beating me across the finish line. Of course, in Paris, there were several novelty runners taunting me before the start! A lot was on this race and my performance.

The race organisation was great and Paris turned on the weather for us too. A balmy 15 degress was a nice change to the cold running I was used to in London.  With 40,000 race entrants, the streets around the start line were packed. It was a strange feeling to be walking around the Arc de Triomphe and not have to worry about crazy French drivers trying to take you out. Even more strange was seeing a vacant Champs Elysee  – the first part of the course. Not for long though – the race kicked off and the torrent of runners flowed down the cobbled street.

My race started well and I felt strong for the first half of the race. I was averaging 4:12 per km and hoping this was not too fast and that I could hold it till at least the 30km mark. But by the 25km mark I had started to slow and my pace dropped by 10sec per km. After 30km, I was down another 10sec and I was sucking back Gu to try and give my body the glycogen it needed. By 35km my body was done and I hit the wall. Hard! It’s a strange feeling that creeps up quickly on you. I had nothing left in the tank but I was still determined to beat my goal of 3 hrs 15mins. I was on track to do around 3hrs 5 mins but there was no way I could keep up that pace. I dropped back to 5min km and just hung on for the ride.

I finished on my watch at 3:09:45. Not bad for my first road marathon. Breaking my target time of 3hrs 15mins! The breakdown of stats and course map from my watch are below.

A couple of days after I checked my time on the official website and I was down for 3hrs 11min. I’m gutted to have missed the 3hrs 10min mark on the official time but I’m still happy that I beat my 3hrs 15min goal.

The winner completed the course in a staggering 2hrs 5mins. Sickening how fast those boys can go. Breaking it down further… I think my fastest 100mtr time was around 12.5 – 13sec which was done back in high school. The winner of the marathon was running 100mtrs in around 18sec and holding that pace for 42.2km. See how sickening that pace is! Breaking my time down, it’s around 25 sec per 100mtrs held for the marathon. I guess that’s why they can beat me by over an hour!

The best thing about the whole race – it signals the end of my 6 week dry spell. A beer in the sun is well deserved!

Oh and no novelty runners beat me!! Mission accomplished. Bring on the Sahara – no novelty runners there!


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