A race. In the fall. In Paris. Sounds pretty close to perfect to me! It also sounded good to 24,500 other people. 24,500 other people who were fast enough to register for the race before it sold out. Since I’ve never been one to let lack of speed deter me from running a race, I made my travel arrangements for Paris for said weekend with the faith that some how, some way, I would participate in the 20 Kilometre de Paris.
My search for a race bib began with my IRL running buds. I thought I scored one when a friend who registered decided she wasn’t going to participate and was willing to give me her number. Turns out she wasn’t registered after all, so the search continued. Not long after, another friend offered me her number. Hurray, right? Yeah, NO! While this friend had actually registered, it was for a different race – albeit in Paris – on a different day. Race day was looming – one week; 5 days; 4 days – and still no bib. And then, just hours before boarding the train to Paris I lucked out. Some in a Facebook group of runners I belong to had a bib to sell. Hurray! Really this time; Hurray! I was going to run the 20 Kilometre de Paris!
I have run in Paris before. In addition to running the Paris to Versailles Run a few years ago, I always log a few miles whenever I am in town for a visit, so this was not a new destination conquered in my quest to run the world. But that doesn’t mean I enjoyed it any less than if it were.
The race started at 10am, but with so many runners and because I was in corral in the back, it was close to an hour later before I crossed the start line. This dense concentration of runners made my normally slow pace even slower for the first until the bottle-neck of runners was able to spread out.
The scenic course started at Pont d’Iena, just beneath the Eiffel Tower, and passed through the Bois de Boulogne, quays de Seine and a few of the city’s wonderful neighborhoods before coming full circle, so to speak, and finished at Quai Branly, which is also under the Eiffel Tower not far from where the race began.
In addition to gorgeous scenery, there was music all along the course and well placed hydration stations stocked with water, sports drinks, sugar cubes and orange and banana slices.
Despite the slow start, I was happy with my 2:09:51 finish time, especially when considering that snail’s pace first mile and all of the picture taking pauses. The bling and t-shirt were pretty nice, too.
Good time. Nice shirt. Cool medal. Paris
Sounds pretty close to perfect to me.