This year saw a record number of 47,486 finishers at the Paris Marathon, drawing runners from all over the world including 2 from the Coltishall Jaguars! The weather was perfect for a marathon, fine and dry with a maximum temperature of around 11 degrees. The route started in the Champs Elysee, passing many famous landmarks including Notre Dame Cathedral (which tragically caught on fire the following day). It wound its way through Paris, through two wooded parks, passing along the banks of the Seine and under two underpasses, before finally ending just before the Arc de Triomphe. Keith was running with me this time, having run 12 marathons already he was happy to relax and enjoy this one, which was lucky for me as my watch lost its signal in the first mile, so I was relying on him to keep us on pace. We spotted a Reepham Runner who was wearing a Norwich city shirt and had a chat with him, and also a Tri-Anglia runner from Norwich. There weren’t as many charity fun runners in fancy dress costumes as we’d seen at London but the french crowd were very supportive, shouting “Allez, Allez!” all along the route, and there were plenty of water stops and firemen offering a cooling water shower for those who needed it. At last the end was in sight, and Keith urged me to press on if I could, his heels were very painful by this point, he had been suffering with this throughout our training. Such a relief to see the end in sight, and the finishers medals and t-shirts. There were refreshments laid out for those who were hungry – savoury snacks, cakes and fruit but to honest by then I was feeling a little sick, although the juicy orange segments were heavenly – perhaps we should offer these at our races in future?! A super weekend in Paris but that was definitely my last marathon, I was thinking, as we said ‘au revoir’ to this lovely, friendly city but who knows? Never say never!

Ruth Gainsford4.04.12YESGOLD
Keith Brighty4.09.25YESBRONZE