Forrest Grump

Things I learnt from my weekend at the Paris marathon.

1. Unlike every race I’ve been in, the organisers of the Paris marathon do not furnish you with safety pins for attaching your bib.
2. Everyone in Paris speaks English-until you need to find out off a race organiser if they have safety pins.
3. 24-hour pharmacies sound like great ideas until you find out that they don’t sell safety pins.

The solution in the end for the above dilemma was to have the pharmacist staple it to my chest. We had a 75% success rate with just one dropping off before the end of the race.

What’s that all about? Imagine packing to go on holiday … Passport-CHECK, Tickets-CHECK, safety pins-CHECK.

The race itself went quite well. I started at the 3h 45m balloon. When you enter the race you predict the time that you are likely to do so that if you are a 200 pound straggler you won’t hold up the people with ability by blocking the Champs d’Elysée with your girth and a trolley of treats. So they have pace-setters who run at the pace that you have predicted for yourself and you identify these people by coloured balloons pinned to their back. They look a bit moronic but you’re hardly going to say this to very fit French people.

My target time in reality was 3h 30m which was an average time of 5min per km.
My times were
1 km 5m 15s
2 km 5m 17s
3 km 5m 08s
4 km 4m 56s
5 km 3m 47s (probably inaccurate)
6 km 5m 12s
7 km 5m 31s
8 km 5m 11s
9 km 5m 24s
10km 4m 41s
11km 5m 18s
12km 5m 16s
13km 4m 09s
14km 4m 54s
15km 4m 49s
16km 5m 13s
17km 5m 03s
18km 4m 44s
19km 4m 44s
20km 4m 36s
21km 5m 12s
22km 5m 22s
23km 4m 48s
24km 4m 51s
25km 5m 16s
26km 5m 08s
27km 5m 10s
28km 5m 46s
29km 5m 02s
30km 6m 23s
31km 8m 06s (probably inaccurate)
32km 5m 10s
33km 4m 54s
34km 5m 22s
35km 4m 56s
36km 6m 04s
37km 5m 43s
38km 5m 15s
39km 5m 56s
40km 4m 34s
41km 4m 18s
42km 4m 51s

These were calculated using a GPS watch I was wearing and are not that accurate in parts – but anyway my finish time was 3h 44m so a little disappointing. But I really did do my best and despite good conditions, I struggled with an injury from about the 8th kilometer on. The last 10km were hell on two feet,

Most importantly, the collection for the Irish Cancer Society currently sits over 1200EUR and everyone has been extremely generous for a very worthy cause.

The rest of the holiday was great. Paris is wonderful, great city. Only problem of course were the smokers in bars and restaurants, something that’s been gone from Ireland for over 12 months. Kind of ironic that I’m collecting money for cancer research and treatment and have to put up with cancer been blown in my face for four days. Hopefully the rest of the world will leave the dark ages, catch up with Ireland and relegate this outcast behaviour to the past.

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