The Aberdeen contingent were on the move and it was time to start our Paris Marathon journey!
Our travel went delightfully smoothly and our flight was a pleasant 2 hours with AirFrance. I enjoyed a glass of red wine whilst sitting in the sunshine at 33,000ft and reading Chrissie Wellington’s autobiography. I was even lucky enough to have a spare seat next to me so my long legs had some room to stretch out.
The magic of air travel is still not lost on me. I’ve never been 100% comfortable with flying but these days it stresses me out less. I still half dread/half relish the split second when the plane leaves the crust of the earth and your brain realises what’s going on but you can’t do anything about it. Within moments of climbing, as you watch your world shrink beneath you, it all becomes unfathomable to the human eye and I never tire of it.
Upon arrival we mysteriously seemed to bypass passport control and after collecting our luggage found ourselves outside in the real world having not been checked into the country. After extensive discussion we concluded that our plane may have been parked at a domestic stand…
We had a 45 minute train journey into the centre of Paris and then a brief metro trip, and we alighted at Passe to make the short walk to Naomi’s mum’s apartment, which is just out of sight of the Eiffel Tower…
A quick dinner of bread and cheese awaited us before we all retired to bed, ready for an early start the next day.
The Paris Marathon requires all runners to pick up their numbers at the Running Expo, held at a big conference facility at Port De Versaillies. We decided to arrive as early as possible to dodge the queues, but still had a short wait to enter when we arrived 15 minutes before doors open. With 50,000 runners to process, the Expo is open for 3 days!
This part was the bit that I’ve been most nervous about in the last few weeks. As required I got a medical certificate from my Doctor’s surgery, stating that I was in fit health to run the race, and had copies of it along with all the other paperwork and bits and pieces. Even though I knew I had everything in order, I wouldn’t truly relax until I had my race number in my hand.
The expo itself was quite the assault on the senses. Every running, triathlon or fitness company one could think of had booths bedecked with their latest and brightest running kit which attracted us towards them like magpies and silver. I had given myself a strict talking to before entering – I really do not need any more running kit and under no circumstances was I to buy something just because I liked the look of it.
On Running had a stall, where I was able to meet one of the founders of the company whose crazy shoes I trialled recently and am still in love with. Rachel tried a pair on to see what the fuss was about and quickly found herself reaching for the credit card for a pair of the latest Cloudrunners. I admired the new collection from a far, but was able to resist. I did purchase a pair of CompressSport compression sleeves in a dazzling shade of blue, and a souvenir long sleeve Paris Marathon top in a gorgeous shade of purple.
“‘Murica! F Yeah!!”
What? We’re athletes don’t you know? We have a marathon to run on Sunday…
I’ve written this on the WordPress mobile app, so I apologies if the pictures are a bit small (or massive) or if the formatting is a bit weird. I’ll fix it when I’m back.
Tomorrow brings another day of carb-loading, the 5km International Breakfast Run, and a boat ride on the Seine. Au Revoir!