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Paris Marathon
Sunday 5th April 2009
Phil A

If anyone is looking for a marathon with a decent chance of a PB (flat; plenty of other runners for pacing but hardly ever too congested to run - except for a 2 minute standstill at a bottleneck at the first drinks & food station at Place de la Bastille 5k in; beautiful views to lift the spirits), or a marathon to enjoy without the pressure of going for a time, or one within easy reach on the Eurostar, or one far easier to get in than London, or one where your family or friends would thoroughly enjoy coming over to watch, I couldn't recommend Paris highly enough!

My race was really just a long run once the weather turned hot. I had ended up on an IV drip after FLM 2007 and didn't fancy that again, especially in my first overseas marathon. So once the weather was set for a warm and then increasingly hot day, I dedided not to push too hard and simply enjoy the run, the great atmosphere and the tremendous views.

I got to halfway in 1:59 and could have pushed on if the weather wasn't hotting up. But I had my sensible head on, so I ran within myself to avoid overheating. The times listed on the Paris website are gun times. They should get adjusted soon to show my chip time was 4:17:01. I was so relaxed about the run that I didn't even feel the need to push late on to beat 4:15, or even over the last few yards to duck under 4:17. It was just a great day out.

As it happens, that is 19 minutes slower than my PB, but is I suppose an overseas marathon PB and more to the point a hot marathon PB (after FLM 05 in costume and FLM 07, 11 mins slower and in a much worse way at the end). It was also my 4th marathon in 12 months, so I'm pretty pleased all round.

So I would definitely recommend Paris to anyone, whether as a fast one or an enjoyable relaxed run. All the best to anyone else with London or other marathons coming up. Respect the distance, and enjoy the day, whatever it brings.

Phil

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