Although I can’t recall exactly when the Paris 1/2 Marathon first weekend in March tradition began for my friends and I in Europe, it sure does elicit wonderful memories! The first weekend in March has been a time to leave school right at the end of the duty day, head to the airport to hop on a cheap 99 Euro flight straight to Charles de Gaul, navigate our way through the subway system, and pop up right at our hotel when we exit the station! Tasty meal that evening at the restaurant caddy corner to our hotel and a few beverages to boot and then call it a night.
The excitement of Saturday as we all headed to the Parc de Flor to pick up our race number and souvenir t-shirt (who cares that one year I wanted to take the “scenic route” along the waters edge that doesn’t quite make it to the gathering point for runners) which should roughly take 15 minutes to get there, yet ended up on quite the scenic route through the wooded area by Grandma’s house and 45 mins. later, we arrive — thirsty and cursing my name b/c we will be running part of the same route tomorrow!! Photo ops, fun, and then it’s off to sightsee, sit at a cafe and enjoy two glasses of wine, and head home! Sunday morning, up and adam, quick breakfast at the hotel, down to the subway to join all the other 20,000 anxious runners, and forge your way to the starting point. The starting gun is shot, and we stand there — yes, stand there, why you ask? Well, we aren’t running to place in the top 3, so we are in the “pink section” indicating that we’ll finish between 2:15 and 2:30 mark :-)… about 4 mins. later, the crowds begin to move forward and we are off……not quite to the start line yet, but to jog to the start line to make sure we hear “beep” as our feet cross the checkpoint!
I am not sure how many participants there are this year but I wish you all the best of luck and hope that the weather is like our first year running! Sunshine and just about 60 degrees! In your honor, I wore my old Paris shirt and ran a 10K instead of the entire 1/2 Marathon! Can’t wait to hear about the weekend — sure you all had a fantastic time!!